West Nile kills Sutter County woman
• 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 local mosquito and vector control agency at 1-877-968-2473 to report neglected swimming pools, if you find dead birds, or if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
A woman's death from the West Nile virus is the first reported death in Sutter County since the disease first appeared in California, county Public Health Officer Dr. Lou Anne Cummings said.
The woman died in September. Public Health will not provide her name, age or residence, Cummings said Friday.
"In the smaller counties, we release less information because of confidentiality," the public health officer said. "Within public health, it's been amazing how well people can get tracked even with minimal information.
"People have a right to their privacy," Cummings added. "Our approach is the information belongs to them."
Six human cases had been reported in Sutter County this year, she said. The virus first appeared in the state in 2002.
Four Yuba County residents are believed to have contracted West Nile virus, but all are recovering, county health officials said in September.
Eleven West Nile virus-related deaths have been reported this year in California, according to the state's disease website. They include deaths in Placer and Glenn counties and two deaths in Sacramento County.
Cummings said protecting against mosquito bites is the best way to combat the virus. This includes avoiding going outdoors at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes that carry West Nile are most active, she said.
About one in five people infected will develop flu-like symptoms, she added, and less than 1 percent will develop a serious illness.
Rural areas of this region can add to the issue, Cummings said, since "we certainly have a lot of rice farms. All that standing water — mosquitoes love it."
But she noted the many efforts to control the mosquito population, including the use of mosquito fish at rice farms.