Steve Mulligan, district manager for the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District holds a container of culex mosquitoes. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz.
Two cases of West Nile Virus and five suspected cases have been confirmed in Fresno County, according to a recent announcement from the Fresno County Department of Public Health.
“Confirmation of these cases is a strong reminder that everyone should increase efforts to protect themselves and their mosquito bites,” said Dr. Ken Bird, Fresno County Deputy Health Officer.
West Nile Virus is transmitted through bites from female culex mosquitos, who have previously bitten a bird with the virus. According to Steve Mulligan, district manager of the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, these bites occur before the female mosquito lays her eggs.
Leticia Berber, health educator for the Health Department, said the cases were found in the 93727, 93619, 93701, 93720. Berber further explained that West Nile Virus affects the neurological system leading to headaches, rash and tremors. In severe cases, it can affect the brain and spinal cord, with children and the elderly being the most at risk.
Residents are encouraged to report dead birds and tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health and dump all standing water, where mosquito eggs are laid. Insect repellent and staying indoors as much as possible between dusk and dawn are also strongly advised.