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West Nile virus cases up in Orange County

A mosquito is shown in this undated file image.

September 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A total of six human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Orange County as of Sept. 6, the Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday.

Three of the six cases were confirmed to be West Nile, while the other three are probable cases. Most of the cases experienced an onset of symptoms in mid- to late August, indicating a recent increase in West Nile activity, according to the agency.

West Nile infections in Orange County are typically reported through the end of October, county health officials said.

Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. However, up to 20 percent of those with the infection will experience symptoms or become seriously ill.

With hot summer temperatures in full swing, residents are advised to make sure all door and window screens are in good shape.

Anyone participating in outdoor activities should use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or products containing IR3535, and should limit their activity during dusk or dawn hours -- the peak time for mosquitoes.

Finally, all standing water should be eliminated from property to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.