Monday, July 21— The first human case of the potentially fatal West Nile virus in two years in San Diego County was reported today by the county Health and Human Services Agency.
The infection in a 43-year-old Santee man was found during screen of blood he donated. He had experienced no symptoms, which is not unusual for the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes.
The man, who went camping outside the state the week before his blood was drawn, did not recall any recent mosquito bites, according to the county health agency.
“Even though it’s most likely this individual acquired West Nile outside of the county, we know the virus is here in San Diego County,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.
County Vector Control collected a dead crow in the city of San Diego last week that has also tested positive for West Nile, said Wooten.
“It’s important for the public to know West Nile virus is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease,” she said.
The Vector Control program, part of the county Department of Environmental Health, is inspecting for potential mosquito breeding locations near the man’s home and setting up mosquito monitoring traps in the surrounding areas of Santee.
The state Department of Public Health reported 15 West Nile virus-related fatalities in the state last year, but there have been no deaths in the 11 human cases confirmed so far this season.
Most people are infected with the virus from June through October, with the peak season in August and September.
Of those who become infected with West Nile virus, 80 percent will have no symptoms, according to the county. About one in five people who are infected will develop only a mild illness that includes a headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands.
One in 150 will suffer serious neurologic complications that can become life-threatening. The risk of complications increases for those over age 50, and for people with weakened immune systems.
The county encourages residents to prevent mosquito breeding by dumping or removing backyard items that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires and wheelbarrows.
Mosquito fish, available for free from Vector Control, can be used to control breeding of the insect in water sources such as neglected swimming pools, ponds, fountains and water troughs.
Health agency officials said residents can protect against mosquito bites by staying inside when they are most active, between dusk and dawn, and by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors. An insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of eucalyptus or IR3535 can be applied before going outside.
Window and door screens should be checked to make sure they are in good condition and secured.
The presence of the virus can also be detected in dead birds. Dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls that don’t show an obvious cause of death can be reported to Vector Control at 858-694-2888.
Vector Control will also take reports on green, uncared-for swimming pools, which mosquitoes use for breeding.
After pouring through pictures the night before searching for any evidence Cricket has had cataracts her entire life, Friday came and the appointment with the vet was late in the afternoon. First thing in the morning when it was just barely light enough to see outside, I grabbed my phone because it has a good camera on it and, if Cricket had a cloudy eye again, I was determined to get a picture of it. The day before she had a cloudy eye in the morning but it wasn’t present later in the day, so I needed proof if it happened again.
Ramona 4-H and Future Farmers of America members once again returned from San Diego County Fair with top awards. Among them are Kaylin vanTol, Christopher Wier, Brenna Alvarez, Jazmine Zwicker and Carney Flinn.
After two years of earning supreme reserve champion designation at the San Diego County Fair for a veal calf she raised, Kaylin vanTol settled for reserve champion dairy calf at the 2014 San Diego County Fair.
Residents and visitors line both sides of the street to watch the annual Independence Day Parade staged by San Diego Country Estates. This year’s event featured 34 entries ranging from young Boy and Girl Scouts to members of the sheriff’s Volunteer Mounted Patrol.
Thomas Stephan is on a quest to save oak trees.
“I can’t watch the oak trees die anymore,” the Ramona resident said. “I had to do something.”
As a certified arborist who operated Stephan’s Tree Maintenance for 32 years, he knows a lot about trees. In 2005 he switched from running a tree service business to installing barn owl nest boxes for organic rodent
Ramona Idol auditions, ham radio club holds Field Day, Summer Health Fair, farmers’ market, free car show among week’s happenings…..
Ramona and regional officials will dedicate the staging area for the Santa Maria Creek Greenway on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The dedication will be at the San Diego County Parks & Recreation monument next to the Arriba Teen Center at 1710 Montecito Road.
From the tiniest chihuahua to the giant mastiff and from the purebred to the mutt, everyone is welcome when Kiwanis of Ramona presents the 10th annual Bow Wow Pow Wow Fun Dog Show at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center Pavilion on Saturday, June 14.
Ten categories include: Best costume (adult’s dog and child’s dog), dog owner look-alike, most beautiful, most handsome, best tail wagger, best kisser, most talented, most unusual markings and cutest little dog. The winners of each category are eligible for best in show. To qualify for best in show, the dog must be entered in three categories.
It was a great day to be down on the farm — especially if you were a guest on the San Diego County Farm Bureau’s Farm Tour and had chosen Ramona as your destination. Although the tours have been in existence for a few years, this was the first year Ramona was involved.
Three farm tours took place simultaneously on Saturday, June 7, as Escondido and Oceanside each had its own farms participating.
Residents and visitors have an opportunity to see what life on a farm is like when five Ramona farms open their gates for tours on Saturday, June 7.
The fifth annual Farm Tour Day, sponsored by San Diego County Farm Bureau, will showcase the county’s diverse agricultural enterprises