Long Beach reports its first case of the West Nile Virus this year

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In a time dominated by the coronavirus, West Nile virus reemerged with the city of Long Beach reporting its first human case of the illness this year.

The patient is a person in their 60s and is currently hospitalized with neuro-invasive illness, according to the city’s Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s the second human case of West Nile reported in the state this year, the first occurring in Stanislaus County, according to the city.

“While the world is focused on COVID-19 prevention and response, this is an important reminder that we continue to see cases of West Nile virus most years in Long Beach,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. “We cannot let our guard down against mosquito-borne diseases.”

The virus is spread by the bite of an infected Culex mosquito, and health officials warned residents to take preventative steps such as disposing of standing water that can attract the insects.

Long Beach health officials said symptoms of West Nile can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people who become infected have no symptoms, but about one in 150 may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis, according to the city.