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West Nile Claims San Joaquin Man
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San Joaquin County Public Health Services announced recently that an 86-year-old male living in the central area of San Joaquin County died from complications due to West Nile Virus (WNV).

This is the first reported WNV death of a San Joaquin County resident in 2007. With the warm weather, there has been a rapid increase in mosquitoes in the county and increased spread of WNV.

WNV is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of a mosquito. "With the recent increase in the mosquito population, West Nile Virus is a concern in the County and around the state. It is very important that people take precautions to avoid mosquito bites," said Dr. Karen Furst, Health Officer of San Joaquin County.

About one in five people infected with WNV will develop West Nile Fever with symptoms of headache, fever and fatigue. In some people, the fatigue may last several weeks to months. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. This is a severe condition with symptoms such as neck stiffness, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, numbness, and/or paralysis. Symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent. The risk of severe disease is highest in people over 50-years-old and those with other health problems affecting their immune systems. People with diabetes are also at increased risk of severe disease from WNV. The average age of people reported with WNV in San Joaquin County is 42-years-old.

During 2006, there were eight human cases, 12 horse cases, 46 groups of mosquitoes, and 19 sentinel chickens that tested positive for WNV in San Joaquin County.