Authorities are on high alert as reportedly the West Nile Virus was confirmed once more in East Bay, Calif. Health officials said that two groups of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus in Contra Costa county. Residents are asked to take measures of precaution.
On Friday, Contra Costa officials reported that the infected mosquitoes were tracked in two distinct communities in Antioch and Knightsen. Epidemiologists explained that the insects can transmit the virus to their human hosts if they manage to bite.
The virus can lead to life-threatening complications and even death.
A decade ago, two people in the county were killed by the disease. Between 2005 and 2016, 55 patients contracted the virus in Contra Costa. Authorities urge the population to use insect repellents to minimize risks.
The best products are those based on Picaridin, DEET and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, experts said. People should also ensure that they drain pools of standing water which insects could use to lay their eggs.
Swimming pool owners are asked to keep a close watch on their pools and maintain them. Authorities noted that a single mismanaged swimming pool can become home to over one million insects and affect residents on a 5-mile range.
Experts explained that mosquitoes need water for their offspring.
Residents could also lower their risk of being bitten by an disease-carrying insect in other ways. For instance, they could stay indoors after sunset and just before sunrise when mosquitoes activity reaches its peak.
It is the third time the district triggers the alarm on the virus. A few weeks ago, the bug was detected in birds in Antioch and Brentwood. But the virus’ first appearance was in June when another bird in Antioch tested positive.
In most cases (70 to 80 percent of patients), the virus has no symptoms. In a few cases, patients may experience diarrhea, fever, rashes, muscle pain, fatigue and weakness. Most of patients recover on their own within weeks. Fatigue, however, can last for months.
In some severe cases, the virus can trigger a brain disease such as meningitis which causes the brain tissue to become inflamed. People in their 60s or older have the highest risk of developing complications.
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