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Two Human West Nile Cases Confirmed


Last updated 8/21/2017 at 9:12am

Two Riverside County residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first confirmed human cases in the 2017 season, county health officials said Friday. The residents, who were not identified, are a 53-year-old man and a 43-year-old man who both live in the western portion of the county and were hospitalized this week.

Health officials say that humans can get the virus via mosquito bites. Those mosquitoes "often come infected" when they feed on infected birds.

"Most individuals who are infected with the virus will not experience any illness," the health department said in a news release, emphasizing that the risk of serious illness in most people is low. "Elderly individuals, the very young and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for serious illness."

"West Nile virus is rarely life-threatening, but it can be serious," Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county public health officer, said. "Fortunately, the virus can only be spread by mosquito bites and there are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting bitten."

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