The Novato resident who tested positive for West Nile virus last week is recuperating, according to Marin County Health and Human Services.
The incident marks the first human case of West Nile virus in the county in the past seven years, according to Dr. Matt Willis, a public health officer with the public health agency.
Willis declined to give any more specifics about the infected resident, including their age.
“The important thing for people to know that there are mosquitoes carrying the virus in our community and to take precautions,” he said.
West Nile virus is spread when mosquitoes bite infected birds who then bite people. It’s characterized by flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills and body aches. Eighty percent of people who are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus never develop any symptoms, although people with weakened immune systems can fall gravely ill.
The virus is most active in the summer and appears to be spreading to the West Coast, after hitting Central and Eastern parts of the United States last summer, Willis said.
The Marin County Health and Human Services Department reminds people to use insect repellent if going outdoors at dusk and drain or treat standing pools of water.
Human infections of West Nile virus have been reported in 37 California counties this year.