The Imperial County Public Health Department has received confirmation that an Imperial County man has died of complications from West Nile virus ( WNV ).
The mas was described as elderly with a history of health complications. The Health Department said the onset of the illness was in June but that exposure may have occurred between late May and June. The man was hospitalized locally before being transferred to an out of the county facility. It's unknown where the man may have been infected since he had travelled to different areas of southern California. His family reported that he did not use insect repellent and had reported mosquito bites.
Dr. Stephan Munday , Imperial County Health Officer said that mosquitoes are typically active in Imperial County this time of year and the Doctor urged everyone to take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources. The Health Department's Vector Control Program has conducted mosquito trapping in the area where the man resided but so far they are unable to confirm where the man might have been infected.
Severe symptoms of WNV include fever , nausea , vomiting and seizures. Most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others may have only mild symptoms , such as fever or headache and body aches. However , WNV can be severe in the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems.
WNV is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitos become infected when they feed on infected birds.