Officials Confirm First West Nile Virus Infection in Orange County This Year

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
September 24, 2021 Updated: September 24, 2021

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A Buena Park woman has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first infection in Orange County this year, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced Sept. 22.

The woman was treated in a hospital earlier this month for neuroinvasive disease and is recuperating, officials said.

Last year, 19 people were infected in the county and one person died, officials said.

“West Nile virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall,” said Dr. Matt Zahn, a deputy county health officer.

“The best way to avoid West Nile virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.”

Residents were encouraged to empty out all standing water around their home that aids in mosquito breeding, make sure window and door screens are in good condition, and use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk so outdoor activity should be limited at that time.

Most of the time infections do not lead to symptoms, but 20 percent of the time symptoms include head and body aches, nausea, fatigue, and skin rash.

More serious symptoms can include severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness, or paralysis. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should call a doctor right away.