published on September 4, 2020 - 2:16 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Madera County has confirmed its first death from Saint Louis encephalitis this year.

Madera County is reporting a fatality from the SLEV case in California this year and the first in Madera since 1976. While preliminary testing originally suggested West Nile virus, further testing has now confirmed the latest diagnosis.

SLEV is transmitted through mosquito bites and causes infections in the brain. Paralysis and death, through rare, are also possible. Testing of mosquitoes in Madera had demonstrated one pool testing positive recently for SLEV. Mosquito abatement control was notified at the time of the original diagnosis and has been spraying in the areas where the positive tests were localized.

“The risk for St. Louis Encephalitis remains low in Madera County,” said Simon Paul, Madera County Public Health Officer. “You can decrease your risk by using EPA-registered repellent to keep mosquitoes from biting you, mosquito proofing your home through the use of properly fitting doors and screens, and not allowing standing water to collect in your home or yard.”

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