published on August 20, 2021 - 2:32 PM
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The Fresno County Department of Public Health confirmed two positive human cases of West Nile virus for 2021 in Fresno County with numbers expected to increase. 

Warmer summer months contribute to increased numbers of mosquitoes and the risk of virus transmissions to humans. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than 1% – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis. 

“As West Nile virus activity in the Central Valley continues to increase, I urge Fresno County residents to continue taking every precaution possible to protect themselves against mosquito bites this summer,” says Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra. The risk of disease due to West Nile virus usually increases at this time of year and is highest throughout the summer and early fall.

Fresno County health officials recommend contacting local mosquito abatement districts regarding standing water or mosquito problems, as well as to report any neglected swimming pools, a major source of production. 

To protect against mosquito bites and West Nile, Fresno County recommends practicing the “Three Ds”: Deter, Dawn and Dusk and Drain. 

Deter – apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two years of age. 

Dawn and Dusk — Mosquitoes usually bite either in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent during those hours. Make sure that your home doors and windows have tight fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out. 

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. 

“Let’s continue to work together to prevent additional human cases and even deaths caused by mosquito borne illness this year,” says Vohra.

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