West Nile death

Elderly county resident succumbs to West Nile virus infection

This year's first fatal case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Butte County was recently confirmed by health officials.

The victim, a senior citizen, became ill in late August and in September the infection was diagnosed as WNV neuroinvasive disease, the most serious form of WNV, according to a Butte County Public Health press release. WNV is transmitted to humans and animals by mosquito bites and can be fatal; symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and nausea.

As of Sept. 23, the county has recorded 45 cases of WNV—nearly half of which have occurred in people ages 5 to 49, though people over 50 years old are at greater risk of infection. WNV season typically lasts through October.