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West Nile Virus Cases Rise 40 Percent in One Week, Still Only One Case in Alameda County

The outbreak may peak in August, according to some public health officials.

Cases of West Nile Virus in the United States increased 40 percent in the one week since the Centers for Disease Control of the illness in North America. 

Some public health officials expect infections of the mosquito-borne illness to peak this month, but for activity to continue through October, according to the "Washington Post." 

This year, the CDC has recorded 1,590 cases of West Nile Virus and 66 deaths. 

According to the California Department of Public Health, only one, non-human case of West Nile Virus has been reported in Alameda County. Contra Costa County has reported 23 cases. 

Symptoms

West Nile virus symptoms may include headache, fever, body aches, vomiting, nausea, swollen lymph glands, and skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

Approximately 80 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms, although some 20 percent will develop West Nile fever.

Of those, less than 1 percent may develop a more severe form of illness with symptoms such as high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, paralysis and in extreme cases death. While there is no cure for West Nile virus, it is preventable. 

Residents can help reduce the threat by eliminating unnecessary standing water in discarded tires, buckets, kiddie pools and stock backyard ponds or other permanent water features with mosquitofish. The fish are free and can be delivered or simply picked up at the District office. Residents are encouraged to report mosquito problems, neglected swimming pools or dead birds to the West Nile virus hotline at 1-877-968-2473 or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

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