TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A human case of West Nile virus has been detected in a Tulare County resident as mosquito samples have been detected in multiple locations within the county, says Tulare County Public Health officials on Wednesday.

According to public health officials, samples of the West Nile virus and the St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) have been detected in multiple locations within Tulare County.

“Due to this increased activity and this reported case, we strongly encourage residents to use safeguards to reduce their risk of contracting both West Nile virus and SLEV through mosquito bites,” stated Dr. Thomas Overton, Tulare County Deputy Public Health Officer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the Weast Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and there is no vaccine or medication to treat the virus. Most people infected will have no symptoms, but one in five people will develop a fever with other symptoms from two to 14 days after being infected.

Tulare County Public Health officials urge residents to increase their awareness of potential breeding grounds around their properties and to be on the lookout for homes that are unoccupied as they may have swimming pools or backyard ponds.

They recommend residents follow these precautions to avoid being bitten and reduce their risk of exposure to both viruses:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent such as DEET. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
  • Drain standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
  • Repair or replace door and window screens that have tears or holes.