KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Officials with the Kings County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first two West Nile virus-associated deaths of Kings County residents of 2022.

The first West Nile virus (WNV) case was reported on July 15, 2022, and health officials say there have been a total of three infections, including two deaths, in Kings County this year.

This is a tragic reminder of how serious WNV can be and residents are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquitoes especially by eliminating sources for mosquitoes to propagate.

Heather Silva, Assistant Director of KCDPH

Kings County Department of Public Health officials want to remind the public that most people infected with WNV have no symptoms or mild non-specific flu-like illness. But in some individuals like the elderly, the disease can cause severe neurologic illness.

Symptoms of severe disease include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Disorientation
  • Altered level of consciousness

Kings County residents can contact the Kings Mosquito Abatement District (KMAD) if they are having mosquito problems, to report a neglected swimming pool (green pool), or if they need assistance in eliminating mosquito breeding sources by calling (559) 584-3326 or visiting www.kingsmosquito.net

Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) recommends that individuals protect against mosquito bites by practicing the “Three Ds”:

  1. DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, or Insect Repellent 3535 (IR3535) according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting you. Insect repellents should be used according to label instructions for children.
  2. DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes that transmit WNV usually bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  3. DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, by emptying flowerpots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers. If you know of a swimming pool that.

For more information about the West Nile virus visit: westnile.ca.gov