West Nile mosquitoes found in north Fresno

Horse owners across the state of Oklahoma are being urged to vaccinate their animals against West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis after increased rainfall. The overall risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is low.

The Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District has notified the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) that adult mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile virus in the 93710 zip code area in north Fresno.

People bitten by infected mosquitoes can become ill with fever and other flu-like symptoms. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, mild rash and swollen lymph glands. Additionally, only about 1 out of 150 people infected with the virus develop a serious, and sometimes fatal, illness.

At this time a year ago, no West Nile Virus-positive mosquitos had been detected, according to Gordon.

Gordon reported that the sample collected from La Quinta marked the first time ever that the West Nile Virus was detected in that city this year. FCDPH recommends that individuals contact their local mosquito control district regarding standing water or mosquito problems, as well as to report any neglected swimming pools.

While people who contract West Nile Virus rarely show symptoms, that doesn't mean it is safe to assume this virus is harmless.

According to the health department, the best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, like avoiding the outdoors between dawn and dusk, wearing socks, shoes and long trousers and shirts, using insect repellent that contains DEET, changing water in birdbaths frequently and covering rain barrels with a screen.

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