The St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) has been located in Yuba County, California.
This is significant news for anyone in the area or surrounding areas, as this is an extremely rare virus to come across.
This virus is transmitted through Culex mosquitos, and it is important to note these mosquitoes are the same species that carry the West Nile Virus.
Dave Heft, with the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District, said the virus had been found in their region on August 1st, but last occurrence of SLEV in Stanislaus County was in the mid- to late-1990s.
Most people won’t know they are carrying this virus, whereas some experience flu-like symptoms.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), severe cases can affect the central nervous system, resulting in serious symptoms like paralysis, coma and death.
The CDPH also declared that, “Elderly and those with weak immune systems are most at risk for severe complications” making this an issue these specific groups must know about.
Experts advise that people wear long sleeves and use bug spray to avoid all mosquito-borne viruses.
An EPA registered, IR 3535 insect repellent a highly suggested product used to avoid a potentially hazardous bite.