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2 hospitalized with severe cases of West Nile virus in Yolo County

Two adults have been hospitalized with severe cases of West Nile virus in Yolo County, according to county health officials.

The cases are classified as neuroinvasive, in which the virus affects the central nervous system, sometimes causing symptoms ranging from a high fever to tremors, convulsions, comas or paralysis. The damage to the central nervous system can be permanent. There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for West Nile virus.

Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor declined to identify the two areas of the county where the people had become infected. She also declined to say when they were admitted for treatment.

West Nile virus is spread through bites from infected mosquitoes and most people never show symptoms. But, about 1 in 150 people get severe symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People over the age of 60 are at increased risk.

Sacramento-Yolo County Mosquito Vector Control will place additional carbon dioxide traps in the areas where it is believed the people contracted the virus, said spokeswoman Luz Robles. If mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus, the vector control will increase spraying and fogging in the area.

So far this year, 108 human cases and three deaths have been reported in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.

To decrease the chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito, health officials recommend draining still water and avoiding contact with mosquitoes by staying indoors around dawn and dusk, dressing in long sleeves and pants and using insect repellant.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM

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