Six people in Orange County have shown signs of West Nile Virus, county health officials announced Friday.
Three of the cases were deemed probable and three were confirmed, including two blood donors who had not experienced symptoms, officials said.
"West Nile Virus is a serious disease that is largely preventable by taking basic precautions," said Dr. Eric G. Handler, the county's health officer. "While we should begin to see a decrease in West Nile Virus activity as temperatures cool, it is important to continue to take active steps to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of West Nile Virus infection."
Humans get the virus through infected mosquitoes. The insects typically get it by feeding on infected birds.
In rare cases, the virus can cause encephalitis or even death.
Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, fatigue, swollen lymph glands or skin rash.
Health officials warn residents who like to sleep with the windows open during the summer to make sure door and window screens are securely in place.
Other recommendations include:
--Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus or products containing IR3535
--Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed
--Restrict outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
--Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors.
-- City News Service