SAN DIEGO (CNS) - State laboratory testing determined that an 88-year-old Southeast San Diego man and a 91-year-old University City woman died of West Nile virus, raising the local death toll this year to four, San Diego County health officials announced Thursday.
The two had previously been reported as suspected West Nile virus fatalities, but they had to be confirmed by the state lab. A fifth local death is pending confirmation, county officials said.
According to the county, 18 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been confirmed so far this year in the San Diego area, including the fatalities, and 15 more cases are suspected.
"Remember to wear long sleeves, pants and insect repellent if you're going to be outside where mosquitoes may be, especially around dusk and dawn when they like to feed," said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, the county's deputy public health officer. "And you should also look around inside and outside your homes to dump out standing water where mosquitoes can breed."
About 80 percent of people with WNV don't get symptoms, while the remainder will have headaches, fever, nausea, fatigue, a skin rash or swollen glands.
Around one in 150 cases are life-threatening, and the risk goes up for patients over age 50, according to the HHSA.
The best protection is to empty out areas of standing water where mosquitoes breed, stay indoors at dusk and dawn when the insects are most active, and wear long sleeves and pants or use repellent when outdoors.
County officials also urged residents to contact their vector control program when they find dead birds or green swimming pools, by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Surfrider Foundation announced that it is filing a lawsuit against the federal agency in charge of water and sanitation issues at the U.S.-Mexico border for its inability to stop Tijuana River sewage flows from polluting local beaches.
San Diego Fire-Rescue later this year will add to its fleet a new helicopter designed to help find and extinguish wildfires quicker, perform rescue missions and deliver initial medical care.
One person was killed Tuesday in a single-car rollover crash on Interstate 8 near El Cajon, authorities said.
Only two days before preview night at Comic-Con kicks off and the streets of downtown San Diego on Monday night were being transformed in Comic-Con fever.
After last week's Build-A-Bear "Pay Your Age" sale fail, the company has announced you can still get the age deal (sort of) with its birthday-month "Count Your Candles" program.
IHOP has gotten over its identity crisis and is going right to a promotion that puts the spotlight on the flapjacks that made it famous.
Moisture levels will increase through Wednesday. Thunderstorms chances are elevated throughout San Diego County Wednesday and Thursday.