West Nile virus

Image used courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A person has died due to complications of West Nile Virus, according to the Butte County Health Department. According to a press release, this marks the first human death from the virus in Butte County for 2018.

According to the release, the person became symptomatic in mid-August, they were between the ages of 50 to 70, and they lived in southern Butte County. The infection was confirmed last Friday and was the neuro-invasive type of the disease, which is the most severe form of the virus.

Adia White

We may not have Zika, Malaria or any of the classically terrifying mosquito-borne diseases here in the North State, but our resident insects still carry a number of potentially life-threatening diseases. County agencies are now hard at work to determine which ones are around this summer. Mike Kimball is the manager of Yuba Sutter mosquito abatement. He explains one of the many ways they test mosquitoes for viruses.

This week is West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week in California. The district manager of the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District says while there is no need to worry about the Zika virus affecting the North State, the West Nile Virus is a different matter.

West Nile Claims 28 CA Lives So Far This Year

Nov 2, 2015
Chris Fifield-Smith / Creative Commons, license by-nc/2.0/

California health officials say 28 people have died from West Nile virus so far this year. That’s three fewer deaths than 2014, which was a record year in California for deaths related to the virus.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Public Health, one of the 28 deaths this year occurred in the North State. It was in Butte County, which has seen 57 cases of the virus this year. The other deaths have mostly occurred in southern California counties: Kern 1, Los Angeles 8, Nevada 1, Orange 3, Riverside 6, San Bernardino 2, San Diego 5, and Ventura 1.

Andy Langager / Flickr, CC

The first death this year from West Nile Virus in the North State has been reported in Butte County. It’s the tenth death from West Nile Virus in the state.

County health officials said in a press release Friday that the disease claimed the life of a senior citizen who was confirmed to have the most severe form of the virus, which is neuro-invasive. It can lead to meningitis, as well as encephalitis.

Sarah Bohannon / NSPR

With West Nile Virus on the rise, county vector control departments are working hard to kill mosquitos. They’re fumigating roads and fumigating by plane. But they’re also using a less noticeable biocontrol method too – a grey finger-long fish.

Andy Langager / Flickr, CC

New weekly numbers came out last week for West Nile virus. Eighty-three human cases have now been confirmed throughout the state.

The North State is home to the counties with the most confirmed human cases. Butte County has the most in the state with 36. Glenn County follows with 12 cases. Yuba is tied with Tulare County for third place. They each have four.  

Last year California saw record levels of West Nile virus activity. More than 800 human cases were confirmed – the most in nearly a decade. This year numbers are still on the rise. 

The Economic Impact Of The Drought, And Other Stories

Aug 18, 2015
roam and shoot / Flickr, Creative Commons

Stories that have the North State talking: the economic impact of the state drought; a troubling number of West Nile virus cases; unhealthy air conditions in Trinity County as wildfires continue to burn; and students heading back to school.

A new UC Davis study says that this year’s drought will cost California more than $2.7 billion and could result in 21,000 jobs lost.

CA Sees First West Nile Virus Death This Year

Jul 21, 2015
mosquito repellent
Jim Hutchison / Flickr, Creative Commons

California health officials say a senior citizen is the state's first person to have died from the West Nile virus this year.

The state Department of Public Health says the 65-year-old woman died in Nevada County. It offered no other details.

Jon Hayes / Flickr, Creative Commons

West Nile virus is officially here. The first human cases of the virus in California this year have been detected in two Butte County residents.

According to a press release received Thursday from the Butte County Public Health Department, the two people were found to be infected with the virus during a routine blood donation. Neither person knew they had the virus, as both were symptom-free.

Having no symptoms is common and occurs in about 80% of people who get West Nile Virus, but the illness can pose severe health risks including serious neurological diseases.