First human West Nile virus cases seen in Riverside County for 2023


JEFF HORSEMAN | Contributor

Residents from western Riverside County and the San Gorgonio Pass are the first confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in the county this year.

County public health officials announced the cases Friday, Aug. 18.

A western Riverside County resident was hospitalized with the virus, while the other infected person recovered at home, a public health department news release states.

The cases appear to be unrelated, according to the release.

San Bernardino County reported its first two West Nile cases of the year — one in Rialto, the other in San Bernardino — on Aug. 8.

Transmitted to humans through mosquitoes who contract the virus from birds, the virus can cause a fever with symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people who become infected don’t develop any symptoms.

To avoid the virus, officials recommend using EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, eliminating sources of standing water, wearing pants and long sleeves and avoiding being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk.

Because of a positive West Nile result in a mosquito test sample, the county Vector Control Program sprayed an anti-mosquito treatment Tuesday, Aug. 22, in Hemet.

Truck-mounted spraying will occur in the area south of west Thornton Avenue, west of south Cawston Avenue, north of Mustang Way and east of Warren Road.

To minimize exposure, residents and pets should remain indoors and windows should be kept shut for 15 minutes during and after spraying.

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