Orange County Witnesses Significant Rise in West Nile Virus cases

Orange County Witnesses Significant Rise in West Nile Virus cases

According to the California West Nile Virus website, the health department has recorded 311 human cases of the virus in California this year, with 73 new cases as of September 16.

The West Nile virus is at an all time high in California's mosquitoes due to which the concern rises over risk of further spread of infection. But students of Biola University and the student health center do not consider the virus as a risk.

In comparison to last year, Los Angeles County did not have to face much trouble due to the virus. But such was not the case in Orange County as the virus hits its peak of 116 cases.

According to Jared Dever, director of communications at Orange County Vector Control, West Nile virus normally sticks to a cycle of low activity followed by a peak in every four year. This year, the virus has not followed its trend.

"You have an oscillating, kind of cyclical nature of West Nile Virus. This 2014 epidemic doesn't quite fit with the cycle that had been predicted for it to occur", said Dever.

California is facing higher cases of the virus, but Orange County is leading with maximum human cases. Kristin Phelps, director of health services at the student health center, said that the West Nile virus does not act as a threat to Biola University students and no mosquito activity has been found around Biola.

Phelps said that the west Nile virus has never been diagnosed at Biola, which may be in part to the reality that 80% of people who contract the virus do not show symptoms.

Best preventive measures for students include wearing light colored, long sleeve shirts and long pants. The virus is 100% preventable and it has also been suggested that overwatering plants should be avoided.

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