Kern County confirms 1st human case of West Nile virus this year

Credit: MGN/CDC, 2012 file photo

Kern County Public Health Services has confirmed the first local reported human case of West Nile virus this year.

West Nile virus is passed via infected mosquitoes. The risk of serious illness is low for most people, but some can develop a serious neurological illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, Public Health Services said.

MORE | It's officially mosquito season, here are tips to protect yourself

Public Health offered tips to reduce the risk of getting West Nile virus:

  • Avoid mosquitoes at all times of the day, rather than only “dusk and dawn.”
  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas and use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
  • Do not allow water to collect and stagnate in old tires, flowerpots, swimming pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, or other containers. These are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Keep swimming pools operating properly; drain water from pool covers.
  • Stock garden ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae such as gambusia, goldfish or others.
  • Empty and scrub the walls of birdbaths and wading pools weekly to remove any attached eggs.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens in good repair to keep out mosquitoes.
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