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By Andrea Papagianis

Orange County has its first reported human case of the West Nile Virus infection, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced in a press release last week.

A Santa Ana man tested positive for the infection, becoming the county’s first human case in 2014. He was admitted to an area hospital in late June with symptoms, but is now at home recovering. The man’s diagnosis is the 10th West Nile Virus case reported in California. Last year, 12 human infections were documented in Orange County and zero West Nile related deaths.

“West Nile Virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall,” said Eric G. Handler, a county health officer. “The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.”

County health officials recommend emptying all standing water, found in items like flower pots and pet bowls, to reduce areas in which mosquitos breed. Additionally, officials suggest checking the condition of window and door screens, using insect repellent and limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn.

According to the county health care agency, many who become infected do not experience symptoms but others can develop a fever, headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness and a skin rash. More severe symptoms can include neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness and paralysis. People who develop these symptoms should seek medical attention, the release said.

Learn more about mosquito control from the county’s Vector Control District at www.ocvcd.org.

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