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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles County health officials confirmed the first two human cases of West Nile virus in the county this season.
Both patients are middle-aged men with pre-existing health conditions and were hospitalized, according to the county Department of Public Health.
Health officials said there currently are ten confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in the state.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. In most cases, people who are infected with West Nile virus never become sick, or have only very mild symptoms that include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, and a mild skin rash.
Symptoms of West Nile virus could appear within three to 12 days after infection. Fewer than one in 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito become severely ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People can decrease their risk of infection by following these recommendations:
– Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk.
– Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
– Use repellants containing DEET, picaridin or oil of eucalyptus.
– Check your window screens for holes.
– Do not allow water to collect and stagnate in old tires, flowerpots, swimming pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, or other containers, which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
– Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; and drain water from pool covers.