Corona, CA: First West Nile Human Cases Confirmed in County

Three women are recovering from the virus, and are the first confirmed cases in Riverside County since 2009.

Three cases of human West Nile Virus were confirmed today by Riverside County health officials. They are the first laboratory-confirmed cases in the county since 2009.

The first patient is a 44-year-old Corona woman who became ill in early August and was briefly hospitalized. The second is a 63-year-old Norco woman who became ill in mid-August and was hospitalized. The other involves a 36-year-old Beaumont woman became ill last month and is recovering at home.

The women who contracted the illness last month are recovering, according to Dr. Eric Frykman, public health officer for the county, and there are no indication that the cases are related.

“While I am glad these patients are recovering, this reminds all of us that there are important steps each of us can take to prevent exposure to mosquitoes that carry the virus,” Frykman said.

The virus is most prevalent from May to October.

Five people were infected with the virus and three died in 2009. Sixty-two people were infected in 2008 (four deaths) and 17 in 2007 (three deaths). Statewide, there have been about 50 confirmed human cases this year.

In 2008, the majority of county cases came from Corona, Riverside and Moreno Valley, according to Jose Arballo Jr., spokesperson for County of Riverside Community Health Agency, Department of Public Health.

The virus is transmitted to people and animals by bites from infected mosquitoes, health officials said. A mosquito first acquires the infection by feeding on a bird with virus in its blood.

In August, a dead crow in Wildomar tested positive for the virus. Several mosquito samples recently tested positive for West Nile Virus in the Nuevo area.

Officials with the Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District said they are stepping up their efforts in the Corona-Norco area as a precaution due to the recent cases.

Major Dhillon, district manager for the mosquito abatement district that stretches from Jurupa to Lake Elsinore, said there are no indications the Corona-Norco area is a problem spot and it is possible the virus could be present anywhere in the region.

The majority of the county is served by a vector control program within the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health.

Symptoms of the Virus

Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms, county health officials advised. Those who become ill suffer from fever, headache, nausea, body aches, mild skin rash or swollen lymph nodes. In rare cases, the disease progresses to encephalitis or viral meningitis. There is no specific treatment for infection.

Those who feel they have symptoms of the virus should contact their health care provider.

Taking Precautions

To decrease human exposure to mosquitoes and the infections they may carry, health officials said to:

Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk.

When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts and other protective clothing.

Apply insect repellant according to label instructions.

Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that are torn or severely damaged.

Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding. Maintain and/or repair circulation systems of in-ground swimming pools to prevent the creation of stagnant water conducive for mosquito breeding.

Report known stagnant swimming pools in your area to local mosquito- and vector-control agency, or code-enforcement agency.

Contact your local mosquito- and vector-control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work. To find a vector-control agency, go to

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