Health officials have confirmed that a San Francisco man tested positive for the West Nile Virus, the first human case since 2005. What's more, the man has not traveled outside the Bay Area, which almost certainly means he contracted the disease right here.
The good news is that the man is recovering at home, and should be just fine.
Also See: West Nile Virus Makes Its Way to San Francisco.
Health officials say they there's no way to know if the man picked up the virus in
San Francisco or one of the surrounding counties; either way, they are once again warning residents to watch out for those freeloading mosquitoes.
Last week, health officials papered neighborhoods with flyers alerting residents to the presence of West Nile Virus after they found a dead bird that had been infected with the disease. That was the third case reported since 2007.
But health officials are concerned, as West Nile Virus has been on the rise in California and across the nation. As of
Sept. 25, there were 165 human cases of WNV reported.
Nationally, 3,142 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, making this year the highest number of
cases reported since 2003.
Almost 40 percent of the reported cases
are from Texas. Of the 134 deaths nationwide, eight have occurred in
However, the local case is the first human to report having West Nile Virus in San Francisco since 2005 when the virus first became reportable. In 2010 one San Francisco resident became infected with the virus from an organ transplant.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health has issued a health update to all medical
providers in San Francisco, requesting that clinicians be on the lookout for
human cases of West Nile Virus and to report all cases to the local health
You should know that four out of five infected people don't usually experience any symptoms or illness. Most of those who become ill develop mild symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, muscle aches, skin rash, or swollen lymph nodes. However, it does
sometimes cause more severe illness, including encephalitis or
meningitis, particularly in the elderly and in folks with not-so -great immune systems.
WNV is most often transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds (yuck). Human-to-human transmission of WNV occurs with organ transplants.
Currently, there is no human vaccine available, although several are in trials. So what can you do? Well, control those blood-sucking mosquito sources and get bug spray. Health officials have doled out the following advice: