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West Nile Virus Spreading in Butte County

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Updated: 8/15/2013 6:30 pm
In Butte County, West Nile cases are on the rise. According to Butte County Public Health Official Dr. Mark Lundberg, three new cases have been reported in Butte County in the last few days. One of the victims was hospitalized in serious condition with a brain infection.

"We call it neuroinvasive disease and it can be life threatening, fortunately this patient was in intensive care unit was supported with intensive interventions they are recovering," said Lundberg.

Butte County currently has a total of four reported cases this year. The first case was an elementary school student from Chico. Health officials say these recent outbreaks prove the virus doesn't just affect the elderly.

"We've had a child so far this year contact West Nile Virus, we've had high school and college students set back by West Nile Virus, anybody can acquire the virus," said Lundberg

In recent weeks, mosquito and vector control specialists have stepped up efforts to try and kill adult mosquitos.

"We have to check every storm basin, hundreds and sometimes thousands of mosquitos will come out of one storm basin, it also includes checking swimming pools, bird baths, horse watering troughs. Obviously we're concerned about it, very concerned about it," said Jim Richards.

"Tere is a lot of risk out there and we really need to do what we can to prevent that risk from hurting people," said Lundberg.

In order to limit your risk of contracting the virus, make sure your doors are closed, wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn, as well as using mosquito repellent. Those are just a few small steps that could stop you from becoming the next victim of a virus that figures to only get worse as the summer goes on.
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