Written by The Business Journal Staff
West Nile virus has made an appearance recently in the City of Fresno.
The Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District notified the Fresno County Department of Public Health of confirmed cases of West Nile virus positive adult mosquitoes collected from the 93727 zip code in the City of Fresno.
Symptoms show up between three and 14 days. About 1% of the population will contract the most severe form of the virus, which affects the brain.
“This confirmation is a strong reminder that everyone should take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” says Dr. Rais Vohra, interim health officer for Fresno County.
Vohra said it’s a yearly threat, usually in the summer months. Contracting the virus from mosquito carriers results in fever, body aches and joint paints, diarrhea and vomiting. About 10% of cases result in death.
Fresno County recommends that residents contact their local mosquito control district regarding standing water or mosquito problems. They should also report neglected swimming pools, which are a major source of mosquito production.
Standing water can accumulate with poor water drainage, where mosquitoes can develop in drainage tubes. Since mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water, residents are encouraged to drain off water from potted plants and car tires and close off drainage tubs with open ends.
Katherine Ramirez, science education coordinator at the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, said the abatement district sets traps every year to identify where there might be West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes.
“We’re very concerned with mosquitoes that are active during dusk and dawn, and we did collect our first positive mosquito sample in the City of Fresno in an area south of Belmont between Clovis Avenue and Fowler Avenue,” Ramirez said.
The abatement district will be doing an ultra low volume spray treatment in the neighborhood, and residents will be notified. Trucks are driven slowly through the neighborhood, releasing the spray.
Ramirez encourages people out at dusk and dawn to wear insect repellent to deter mosquitoes.