3 more Sutter County residents contract West Nile virus
• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding.
• Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk.
• When outdoors at dawn or dusk, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
• Apply insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting, intact screens.
• Contact the mosquito and vector control agency at 674-5456 to report neglected swimming pools, if you find dead birds, or if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
The human toll for West Nile virus in Sutter County is up to five, with a woman and two men recently hospitalized with nueroinvasive forms of the disease, health officials said Wednesday.
One of the men is seriously ill. As summer progresses, the county Health Department reminds residents the risk for humans, horses and other mammals continues to increase. Health officials urge residents to remain vigilant to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
As of last week in Sutter County, 16 birds, 18 mosquito samples and 29 chickens tested positive and were reported to the California Department of Public Health.
Yuba County has not yet had a human case this year, but mosquitoes, birds and chickens have been confirmed to have the virus.
Ron McBride, manager of the Sutter-Yuba Mosquito & Vector Control District manager, has said this looks like it may be a worse year for West Nile than previous years.
Mosquito counts from the district's 39 traps are higher than the 10-year average, and virus rates among birds and mosquitoes are higher and happening earlier than usual, possibly because of the hot weather.
As of Tuesday, at least 35 of 58 counties had West Nile virus activity, the state reports. Eighteen counties have had human cases, including five in Butte County, three in Glenn County and six in Sacramento County.
Of people who get infected, 80 percent don't feel sick and don't know they have it, and some who do get sick may never get tested. Only 1 percent that become infected get the serious illness with meningitis or encephalitis.
Symptoms typically develop within three to 14 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito and include fever, headaches, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea.
Sutter County Health Officer Lou Anne Cummings encourages people to minimize risk by staying inside during dawn and dusk, draining any standing water and wearing repellents that contain DEET.
The mosquito district has been doing surveillance since spring to combat and track the virus, McBride said. Towns, unincorporated areas and farmland are sprayed on a rotating basis and helicopters patrol for stagnant swimming pools that are potential breeding grounds.
Sutter County Public Health said today that three more human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the department, making a total of five cases in the county so far this year.
Spokeswoman Anne Westlake said in a news release that a woman and two men have each been hospitalized.
"Two of the patients are stable, but one of the men is quite ill," Westlake said in a news release.
A Sutter County woman was reported as the first human case in the area on Aug. 17. On Aug. 28, the department reported that a man had contracted the virus.
Health officials are reminding people to use the four "D"s at home -- use mosquito repellent with DEET, wear long sleeves during dawn and dusk, secure doors and windows and drain standing water.