The Imperial County Public Health Department says two cases of St. Louis Encephalitis ( SLE ) virus have been confirmed in Imperial County.

These are the first two cases of SLE reported in California this year. Additionally , another West Nile Virus ( WNV ) case was also reported. The two individuals with SLE were admitted to a local hospital in late July with severe headache , fever and nausea and were diagnosed with viral encephalitis. Both are said to be middle-age individuals. The second case of West Nile Virus was confirmed in a male individual. All three individuals live in the El Centro area and all are home recuperating.

Both SLE and WNV are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitos become infected when they feed on infected birds. Symptoms of St. Louis Encephalitis include fever , headache , nausea , vomiting , and tiredness. Inflammation of the brain is more common in older adults. There are no vaccines to prevent SLE or medicines to treat it.

The Health Department says most individuals with West Nile Virus will not experience any illness. Others will have only mild symptoms , such as fever headache and body aches. The virus can be severe in the elderly and individuals with lowered compromised immune systems.