HANDFORD, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Kings County Board of Supervisors ratified the local health emergency declaration issued in May, following the floodwater contamination and vector-borne illness.

According to officials, a County Health Officer issued the local health emergency on May 31 due to the recent floodings in Kings County, which meant a significant threat to public health due to the presence of contaminated floodwater, the risk of infectious diseases, and the potential for vector-borne illnesses.

“Kings County residents are encouraged to exercise caution around floodwater and standing water, especially as we anticipate intensified flooding as the snowpack melts in the coming months,” said Rose Mary Rahn, Kings County Director of Public Health. “Individuals who have come into contact with contaminated floodwater and are experiencing symptoms of illness are urged to consult with their primary care physician.”

Officials said that the threats to public health also included the danger of infectious or communicable diseases and/or non-communicable biological agents due to standing or stagnant water, mold, exposure to agricultural components, and other potential threats.