Samples from an insect trap in southwest Visalia have tested positive for West Nile virus, a potentially dangerous illness that people can contract from mosquito bites.
The health agency urged Visalia residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites. West Nile symptoms can be mild, but most people suffer from reactions that range from headaches and skin rashes to convulsions and paralysis. Anyone who experiences symptoms after being bitten should contact a doctor or clinic.
The presence of mosquitos in the central San Joaquin Valley will increase as summer approaches and temperatures rise. Residents are urged to take steps such as:
- Reporting the presence of mosquitos to agencies such as the Delta Vector Control District and the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District.
- Using effective, EPA-approved insect repellents such as DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil or picaridin.
- Wearing long-sleeved, dark clothing and pants outside in the early morning and evening.
- Eliminating standing water and containers where mosquitos can breed.