Sutter County reports two West Nile virus-related deaths

Sutter County health officials say a total of four confirmed or probable cases of West Nile virus illness have been reported so far this year, including two West Nile virus-related deaths.

Of the four cases, one was the more serious neuroinvasive form, according to a county Public Health Division news release. A fifth probable case is awaiting confirmation.

The Sutter-Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control District will continue mosquito control and monitoring efforts until mosquito numbers and West Nile virus activity drop, officials said.

Risk for West Nile virus infection from mosquito bites continues into late fall for humans, horses and other mammals. Health officials advise residents to take measures to prevent mosquito bites by using DEET mosquito repellants, avoiding outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, making sure screens on doors and windows are secure, and draining standing water around the outside of the house.

Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

For more information about West Nile virus activity locally and statewide, how to report dead birds and how to protect against the virus, see the California West Nile virus webpage.