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West Nile virus remains a serious health threat.

Sutter County health officials say two women died this month after contracting the mosquito-borne infection. One had the neuro-invasive form of West Nile virus and the other was diagnosed with non-neuro-invasive West Nile virus.

The county reports there have been four patients with confirmed or probable West Nile virus in 2014, including the two women who died. A fifth potential case hasn't been confirmed.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), there have been eight confirmed deaths statewide attributed to West Nile virus this year. There have been 181 human cases in 36 counties reported to CDPH. Perhaps most disturbing, CDPH received 52 new reports of West Nile virus in humans last week.

Approximately 20 percent of those infected with the virus will have symptoms, which can be fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Symptoms typically develop from three to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Again, residents are reminded to:

- Use mosquito repellents such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.

- Avoid going outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

- Drain standing water from gutters, tires, flower pot trays and birdbaths

- Make sure screens on windows and doors are not torn or broken to let in mosquitos.

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