The virus among us

Three human cases of West Nile virus confirmed in Butte County

Three locals have been infected with West Nile virus (WNV), marking the first recorded human cases in Butte County this year. Meanwhile, health officials are investigating additional potential cases.

One of the three people infected experienced a feverish illness without complications, while the other two suffered the most severe, neuroinvasive form of WNV, according to a Butte County Public Health press release. In rare cases, the neuroinvasive form causes death. Recovery can take weeks or months; some people have lasting impairments.

WNV, a mosquito-borne illness, has been detected in 35 of California’s 58 counties this summer, the release notes. Statewide, 22 human cases have been confirmed. In Butte County, 11 dead birds, 25 sentinel chickens and 35 mosquito samples have tested positive.