FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The California Department of Health (CDPH) reported that nine Fresno County residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infections.

Health officials say three of the cases are asymptomatic and were blood donors.

The cases are the first reported in this season and according to CDPH, the Fresno County mosquito control districts have also collected 216 samples of mosquitoes that tested positive for WNV.

“With confirmation of these cases and an increase in the number of mosquito collections testing positive for WNV, it is important that everyone take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,”

Katherine Ramirez, Science Education Coordinator with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.

Health officials say residents are encouraged to contact their local mosquito control district regarding standing waters or mosquito problems, as well as to report unattended swimming pools or ponds as these are a major source of mosquito breeding in urban and suburban areas.

The Health Department is encouraging the residents to practice the “Three D’s”

  • DETER – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age.
  • DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes 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 mosquitoes out. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, by emptying flowerpots, buckets, and other water-holding containers. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito control district.

Fresno County residents can find their local mosquito control district here.