A South Bay resident has died from a neuroinvasive illness caused by West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed death this year from the mosquito-borne disease in Los Angeles County.
Public health officials confirmed Wednesday that the patient was hospitalized and died from a West Nile virus-associated illness that affects the central nervous system but did not provide details about the person’s age or when they got sick.
“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County,” Dr. Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health officer, said in a statement. “We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items. Residents should protect themselves from disease spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products, especially during the peak mosquito season, which lasts from June to November in Los Angeles County.”
This year, California has seen at least 112 confirmed human cases of West Nile, including three other deaths in Amador, Fresno and Imperial counties. There have been nine documented cases in L.A. County, excluding Long Beach and Pasadena, where cases are identified by local health departments.