First Human Case of West Nile Virus Reported in Kern for 2018
Michelle Corson, Public Relations Officer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 14, 2018
Bakersfield, CA – The Kern County Public Health Services Department has received confirmation of the first reported human case of West Nile virus in Kern County this year.
West Nile virus is spread to people primarily through bites from infected mosquitoes and is not contagious from person to person. “Summer months typically lead to an increase in mosquito activity in Kern County,” says Matt Constantine, Director of Kern County Public Health Services. “Kern residents should take precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as this is the most risky time of year for mosquito-borne illness.”
West Nile Virus is one of several viruses that can be transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Many mosquito-borne illnesses cause only mild symptoms in most people but can cause severe illness in rare cases. There are no vaccines for most mosquito-borne illness so the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites.
Decrease Your Risk of Mosquito Transmitted Infections:
Avoid mosquitoes at all times of the day
Avoid mosquito-infested areas and use mosquito repellant 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, fountains, 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 mosquitoes out of your home.
Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live, work, or play. For more information the public can call 661-321-3000 or visit our website at www.kernpublichealth.com.