West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes have been identified in Fresno County for the first time in 2013.
The Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District has notified the Fresno County Department of Public Health of the positive test results provided by the State's laboratory at UC Davis.
In California so far this year, non-human West Nile Virus (WNV) activity has been reported in four counties - Yuba, Los Angeles, Tulare, and now, Fresno. No human cases have been reported to date in 2013. Statewide in 2012, a total of 479 human cases of West Nile Virus were reported with 20 deaths. Last year, Fresno County reported 28 human cases with 2 fatalities.
"With evidence of West Nile Virus activity once again present, it is important that residents take personal precautions to protect against mosquito bites and be vigilant in eliminating mosquito-breeding (water) sources around homes," states Steve Mulligan, District Manager of the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District. "We ask that people report any mosquito problems and unmaintained swimming pools to their local mosquito abatement district office."
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes or contracting WNV, Fresno County residents are urged to take the following precautions:
- Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
- Use repellent, especially in the early morning and in the evening, when mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- Eliminate standing water and containers that can hold water from around the home.
Contact mosquito abatement districts to report poorly maintained swimming pools or water features that appear green. Neglected pools are the # 1 source of mosquito breeding in residential areas. Over 3,000 neglected swimming pools have been reported in Fresno County.
Get FREE mosquito fish for backyard ponds or horse troughs from mosquito abatement districts. Call 559-896-1085 for information.
Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels. Residents can visit the Fresno County Department of Public Health website at www.fcdph.org to download a "Heard the Buzzzzz?" brochure which contains steps to protect their family, their home, and their community from WNV. Residents can also call 1-800-821-1577 to speak to a mosquito abatement district representative or visit www.fresnomosquito.org and/or www.mosquitobuzz.net. For additional information about WNV or to report dead birds and dead tree squirrels, visit the California Department of Public Health website at www.westnile.ca.gov or call 1-877-WNV-BIRD.
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