Mosquito season has arrived sooner than expected in Fresno County, and health experts are warning about the West Nile virus after positive adult mosquitoes were collected locally.
“This confirmation is a strong reminder that everyone should take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, interim health officer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health.
FCDPH recommends that residents contact their local mosquito control district to report standing water or any mosquito problems, including neglected and abandoned swimming pools.
The Health Department says that swimming pools are a major source of mosquito production in cities and rural areas.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the West Nile virus is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected mosquitoes.
While there is no vaccine or medication for treatment, most people infected with West Nile will have few to no symptoms.
In fact, according to the CDC, 8 out of 10 individuals who are infected with the West Nile virus don’t develop symptoms.
However, other individuals could feel flu-like symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and general weakness lasting 5-to-15 days.
More severe symptoms — stemming from central nervous system infections — include stiff neck, confusion, disorientation, dizziness, tremors, and unsteadiness.
In very rare cases, people go into comas, develop meningitis or encephalitis, or die.
For the most part, the disease is generally milder in children and young adults. The risk of dying increases in older adults, the CDC says.
FCDPH recommends following the “Three D’s” for protection against mosquito bites.
The first D stands for “Deter” as a reminder to apply insect repellant containing DEET.
The second D stands for “Dawn and Dusk, accounting for the mornings and evenings when mosquitos are more likely to bite.
The third D stands for “Drain,” to help individuals remember to drain any source of standing water. That means emptying flower pots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers while also ensuring windows and drains are covered with screens.
Watch: Mosquito Education and Prevention
All residents are encouraged to report areas of standing water that may be a breeding area for mosquitoes, or report dead birds to the California West Nile website here or call toll free at 1 877-968-2473
Fresno County residents can contact their local mosquito abatement district at https://fresnocountymosquito.org/