Fairfax City Resident Has West Nile Virus

A Fairfax City resident has Virginia's first diagnosed human case of West Nile virus this year and has been treated at a hospital and released, Fairfax County officials said yesterday.

The resident is 61 years old, but no other information was available about the person, said Kimberly Cordero, a county Health Department spokeswoman.

Lab samples were taken Aug. 26 and confirmed to be West Nile on Aug. 31. There was only one human case reported in Virginia all of last year.

West Nile is spread through mosquito bites. Cordero said it was not known when or where the resident was infected.

Symptoms usually resemble a mild flulike illness, but people older than 50 are at risk of more serious illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Officials warned that standing water from recent rainfalls could contribute to the hatching of large numbers of mosquitoes in coming weeks.

-- Tom Jackman

By Robert Samsot |  September 6, 2006; 10:40 AM ET
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