California has reported its first West Nile death of the year – CNN

” West Nile infection activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible preventative measure to secure against mosquito bites,” Dr. Tomás Aragón, the state public health officer and health department director, stated in the news release.West Nile virus is generally spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus has been identified in 177 mosquitoes from 13 counties throughout the state, according to the health department. The threat of major illness is low, people 50 years or older and those with diabetes or high blood pressure have a “higher opportunity of getting ill,” according to the state health department.Less than 1% of contaminated people develop a major neuroinvasive illness, such as sleeping sickness (swelling of the brain) or meningitis (swelling of the protective membranes covering the brain and spine cable), according to the CDC.There is no vaccine or particular treatment for West Nile virus.The health department recommends wearing appropriate clothing and repellent if outside, particularly during the early morning or night; sealing windows and doors with tight-fitting screens; and, because mosquitoes lay eggs on standing water, removing “all sources of standing water on your residential or commercial property.”