East Bay Woman Contracts West Nile Virus

The woman, who lives in the Concord-Martinez area, is recovering and had a mild case of the disease.

By Jodi Hernandez
|  Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 3:33 PM PDT
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Bugging Out

Jodi Hernandez

Mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus.

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An East Bay woman was confirmed last week as the first human victim of the West Nile virus in Contra Costa this year, Contra Costa health officials said Tuesday.

The woman, who lives in the Concord-Martinez area, is recovering and had a mild case of the disease, according to Susan Farley of the Contra Costa County Health Department.

The typical symptoms include headache, fatigue, a rash, swollen nymph nodes and chills. And even though the virus got into her blood stream, Farley said, it fortunately didn't invade her brain and the woman was not hospitalized.

Vector Control spokeswoman Deborah Bass said that four more birds have tested positive for the virus in Concord and Brentwood for a total count of 38 this year. September and October are the prime months for the mosquito-born disease to rear its head. And Contra Costa County is a hot-bed for the disease.

There were three confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Contra Costa County in 2011, county health officials said. And there have been no fatalities related to West Nile virus in Contra Costa since 2006, when there were two deaths.

What's really important, health officials pointed out, is that the risk of West Nile Virus can be diminished.

Some tips for avoiding mosquitos are:

  •   Avoid going outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  •   Avoid standing water in yards.
  •   Wear long sleeves and repellant.

"We hope that we can encourage people to protect themselves and take action so they don't expose themselves to infected mosquitos" Bass said.

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