Fresno County has its first confirmed human case of West Nile virus this season.
The Fresno County Department of Public Health says a 59-year-old man from the Clovis area contracted the virus. He was hospitalized and later released.
Health officials say three human cases have now been confirmed in the state this year. The other cases are in Kern and Stanislaus counties.
West Nile virus has been reported in birds and mosquitoes in 16 California counties.
According to the health department, statewide in 2011, a total of 158 human cases of West Nile virus were reported with nine deaths. Fresno County reported nine human cases with no fatalities.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes or contracting West Nile virus, officials encourage you to take the following precautions:
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
- Use repellent, especially in the early morning and in the evening, when mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- Eliminate standing water and containers that can hold water from around the home.
- Contact mosquito abatement districts to report poorly maintained swimming pools or water features that appear green. Neglected pools are the # 1 source of mosquito breeding in residential areas. There have been over 3,000 neglected swimming pools reported in Fresno County.
- Get FREE mosquito fish for backyard ponds or horse troughs from mosquito abatement districts.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels.
For more information you can call 1-800-821-1577 or (559) 268-6565 to speak with a mosquito abatement district representative. You can also visit www.fresnomosquito.org.
To report dead birds and tree squirrels, call 1-877-968-2473 or visit www.westnile.ca.gov.