/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: West Nile, something to watch out in California!

Monday, July 23, 2007

West Nile, something to watch out in California!

West Nile virus has surged in parts of California, killing one woman and infecting 27 other people, health officials said on Sunday.One elderly woman has died from complications of the disease, making her the first death in the state from the virus this year, according to health officials. They also attributed the surge to unusually high temperatures throughout the state in March. Of the 27 cases, 18 incidents were recorded just last week. By this time last year, only five had been reported.

Dead birds or other animals in 36 of California's 58 counties, have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the state website tracking the disease, westnile.ca.gov.

Dr. Mark Horton, director of the state's public health department, recommended that people take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
"Even though the likelihood of serious illness from West Nile virus is low for most people, all Californians should take every precaution to reduce their risk of exposure," he said.
Less than 1 percent will become seriously ill, with those older than 50 particularly vulnerable. Recent data also indicate that people with diabetes or hypertension are at greatest risk.

Severe symptoms can include disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The neurological effects can be permanent.

News source Xinhua

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