First two deaths reported in Los Angeles County

Two elderly men, with no other identification information released other than they were both from San Fernando Valley, died due to West Nile-associated encephalitis after being hospitalized. Encephalitis means inflammation of the brain and is caused by various reasons such as head injuries, bacterial or viral infection. It shows mild flu-like symptoms but in some cases may be life-threatening. WNE, West Nile encephalitis is caused by WNV.

It was the first two death reports this year by the West Nile Virus, after 68 documented infections in the county; 108 across the state. The infection report reached 300 last year in the Los Angeles County, highest number in decades, leaving 24 dead.

There is no specific treatment for WNV, and very difficult to diagnose because the infection begins with only mild flu-like symptoms, but approximately 80% of the infectee never become sick.

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