Person tests positive for West Nile virus in Santa Clara County

On Thursday, public health officials in Santa Clara County announced the county’s first human case of West Nile virus for the season, which was confirmed in a person who was reported to be resting at home following a hospitalization.

Due to medical privacy laws, the person, only identified as an adult, contracted the mosquito-borne disease in another county within California, but their diagnosis was reported in Santa Clara County due to their residence.

The Santa Clara County Vector Control District announced on Monday that West Nile Virus-positive mosquitos were discovered in San Jose and Milpitas. On Tuesday, the list was expanded to include Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. The district plans to spray potentially infected areas with Zenivex, an insecticide that kills adult mosquitos.

The district stated that residents are not required to relocate during the operations, and that mosquito treatments pose minimal risk when applied by a licensed professional. Those who want to take extra precautions can stay indoors with windows and doors closed while the operation is taking place. Treatments last approximately four hours.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquito bites account for nearly all disease transmissions. It could be transmitted through blood transfusions, organ transplants, pregnancy, and breast feeding in extremely rare cases.

The peak season for disease transmission occurs from summer to early fall, following an increase in mosquito activity that begins in spring.

According to the Public Health Department, most people under the age of 60 who do not have certain medical conditions have a low risk of serious illness from the virus, and most people who contract it have mild or no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may experience fevers, headaches, muscle aches, and, in severe cases, neurological symptoms.

In November of last year, one person died from the virus in Santa Clara County. The disease was contracted in Contra Costa County, according to the Public Health Department.

According to the Vector Control District, an increase in West Nile Virus is normal during the summer and early fall seasons because mosquitos thrive in warmer weather. Draining all receptacles that may contain standing water, such as plant and water pots, is recommended by the district.

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