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SLO County Reports First Case of West Nile Virus

WATCH KCOY 12: SLO County Reports First Case of West Nile Virus


Doctors are warning people of the dangers of infected mosquitoes after a
confirmed case of West Nile virus in San Luis Obispo County.

This is the first confirmed case of the West Nile virus
in San Luis Obispo County since 2009. There’s several problematic areas
where these mosquitoes breed like this creeks or even dog bowls – anywhere that water stands and can get stagnant – and doctors say
this isn’t to be taken lightly; these mosquitoes can be deadly.

“Well a little worrisome of course, knowing that it can be a potentially
deadly virus,” Central Coast mother Katie Bly said.

Mother Katie Bly says she would’ve reconsidered bringing her boys so close to a
creek Thursday if she knew about the confirmed case of the West Nile virus.

“Raises some red flags, makes me a little more cautious of wearing some bug
spray, maybe I’ll go to the store and scoop some of that up,” Bly said.

Health officials say the person who contracted the virus is a 50-year-old

“Well the first that comes to mind of course is was the person traveling or
did they contract it here in the county,” Bly said.

Doctors say the man is doing fine and it’s believed he contracted the virus
outside the county about a month ago. It was detected through a routine blood donor screening.

“West Nile Virus does not spread person to person,” Dr. Penny Borenstein with the San Luis Obispo Health Department said.

Dr. Penny Borenstein says there’s been one confirmed West Nile death in
California this year in Sacramento County. Most infected people don’t show any symptoms.

“Insect repellent is a really good means of avoiding being bitten, make sure
your screens in your homes are intact,” Borenstein said.

Typical symptoms are fever and body aches. 1 in 150 people infected will become severely ill.

“It can lead to serious brain infection and encephalitis and it can even
lead to death in some cases,” Borenstein said.

Lori Lawson is heeding Dr. Borenstein’s advice.

“My husband and I got rid of any water bowls for birds and stuff like that
in our yard,” SLO resident Lori Lawson said.

“Anything that’s potentially deadly for young ones or sick people or
elderly, I would hate to hear of another case,” Bly said.

Doctors are recommending wearing pants and long sleeve shirts
especially around sunset and in the evening.

For more information on how to prevent mosquito bites, go to, and visit for additional information on West Nile Virus.

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