Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Antelope Valley teen was L.A. County's first confirmed case of West Nile virus this year

August 7, 2009 |  2:33 pm

An Antelope Valley teenager sickened with the West Nile virus last month was the first confirmed case of the virus in Los Angeles County this year, public health officials said Friday.

The teenager fell ill with West Nile in mid-July but has since recovered, officials said. In rare cases the virus, which is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites, can cause inflammation of the brain and death.

Los Angeles County health officials urged residents to drain pools of stagnant water, where mosquitoes can breed, and wear insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites, especially at dawn and dusk.

There have been at least five other West Nile virus cases in the state this year, according to the California Department of Public Health. The other cases were reported in Orange, San Diego, Kern and Contra Costa counties. No deaths have been reported from the virus in California so far in 2009.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II