1800 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93306-3302
Claudia Jonah MD
August 13, 2013
First Case of Human West Nile Virus in Kern County is a Reminder to Protect Ourselves
Public Information Officer
## For Immediate Release ##
Bakersfield – “During June through October there is a heightened watch for cases of human West Nile Virus infection. After the first 1/3 of this time period, Kern County human West Nile Virus (WNV) cases have gone from 0 to 2 cases with the possibility of 5 other persons being confirmed as cases once testing is completed” according to Claudia Jonah, M.D., Public Health Officer for Kern County. “For years now human WNV infections have been found in Kern County residents.” says Dr. Jonah. “These cases are a glaring example of the need for individuals to always keep in mind that they must “fight the mosquito bite” in Kern County.” Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. Of the people who do develop illness, they usually begin experiencing symptoms from 5 to 15 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. “WNV can be deadly, let’s cut off the chance of that happening by using your mosquito repellant starting right now,” said Dr. Jonah.
The mosquito abatement district has done a great job of doing early identification and remediation of mosquito breeding due to neglected water impoundments, Kern County Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services is keeping sumps cleaned out and Kern County Public Health continues to do public awareness. There must be an understanding that this prevention team has to include the membership of every Kern County individual in consistently using an effective mosquito repellant. WNV is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Mosquito-borne illnesses are preventable and residents can do their part to achieve this goal. ”No one can predict if they will be one of the few to become severely ill from this virus. Therefore, it is imperative to protect ourselves, our children, and the elderly from exposure by preventing mosquito bites and by removing sources for mosquito breeding around our homes.” said Dr. Jonah. Please join the WNV Prevention Team by following ALL of the 3 Ds of WNV Prevention:
DUSK/DAWN: Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset. Also make sure that the screens on your doors/windows are properly placed and secure and use protective clothing if going outdoors.
DEET: Apply insect repellant containing DEET according to label instructions and do not forget to reapply as
DRAIN: Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.
Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work. For more information the public can call Kern County Public Health at 661-321-3000 or visit our website at kernpublichealth.com.