West Nile hits home

Butte County’s first human case

Butte County is now one of eight California counties to report human cases of West Nile Virus this year after a middle-aged Chico man last week tested positive for West Nile fever, a milder form of the disease.

Dr. Mark Lundberg, Butte County’s public health officer, took the opportunity to remind residents that “West Nile Virus is here to stay.” He went on to explain in a release, “All residents need to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

WVN is transmitted through mosquitoes, which become infected after feeding on sick birds. It is estimated that 20 percent of people infected develop West Nile fever. Just one in 150 develops severe illness, which can lead to disorientation, neck stiffness and even paralysis. Those older than 50 are at the highest risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.