Record-High Cases of West Nile Virus in California

California health officials say the proportion of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus is at the highest level ever recorded in the state. So far this year, 181 human cases have been reported to the California Department of Health, compared with only 101 cases reported by this time last year. There have been eight confirmed deaths attributed to the virus in the state. Patients over the age of 50 and those with diabetes or high blood pressure are most vulnerable to severe complications from West Nile virus.

In response to the skyrocketing number of West Nile Virus cases in humans, wild birds and chickens, the CDPH has issued prevention tips for citizens. Anyone spending time outdoors is advised to apply insect repellant containing DEET, and eliminate any standing water around the property to keep possible mosquito breeding sites at a minimum.