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West Nile: Mosquitos found

The first 2019 case of West Nile Virus has been reported in Fresno, officials report. Residents are asked to take preventive measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitos and eliminate breeding grounds.

FRESNO –This year’s first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been collected in the City of Fresno, the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District reported. The detection was in the area of Barstow and First avenues and CMAD officials planned to treat the area.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms.

Those who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

About one out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

The disease affects the central nervous system where encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) can develop.

Symptoms of severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

Severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people older than 60 are at greater risk. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk.

Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent.

About one out of 10  people who develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system die.

Residents are cautioned to take steps to reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito:

Step 1. Protect Yourself:

Apply an EPA registered insect repellent to all exposed skin and when possible wear a loose long sleeved shirt and long pants when outdoors.

Step 2. Eliminate Mosquito Production:

Dump and drain any container holding water at least once per week. Cover all yard drain tubes with window screen or add a drain tube foam insert.

Official said it only takes one mosquito bite to transmit West Nile virus thus they caution residents to keep yourself and your family safe this summer.

Also, the Mosquito Abatement's Scientific Services Director Jodi Holeman said that birds in the Corvidae family, including crows, have been shown to develop high levels of West Nile virus. If a crow becomes infected with WNV, the virus multiples quickly and the more WNV that is present in a bird the more likely it is to subsequently infect a mosquito, she said.

“Crows are considered a main carrier of WNV, but they aren’t the only bird that can infect mosquitoes. Crows are also highly susceptible to WNV infections because of the high amounts of virus that can be produced. If you see a dead crow it could be an indication of West Nile virus activity.”

Report any dead birds to the State online at http://westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php.

For more information or to request service visit the District website at www.mosquitobuzz.net.

To eliminate mosquito breeding on your property, conduct the following check of your property:

CONTAINERS

  • Dispose of all unused cans, jars, buckets, barrels, pots, old tires, tubs
  • Store usable containers upside down
  • Change water in vases or buckets holding plant cuttings every week

ORNAMENTAL PONDS, BIRD BATHS

  • Stock ponds with mosquito fish
  • Remove excess vegetation
  • Keep water level up
  • Change water in bird bath weekly

SWIMMING POOLS AND SPAS

  • Operate filter and skimmer daily - chlorine does not kill mosquitoes
  • Keep pool covers tight to prevent rainwater from accumulating
  • Drain or invert plastic pools

BOATS

  • Store small boats upside down
  • Cover large boats; keep drains open

ANIMAL WATERING TROUGHS

  • Stock with mosquito fish or change water completely every week

OTHER SOURCES

  • Keep septic tanks tightly covered or buried to prevent mosquito entrance
  • Keep rain gutters clean of debris
  • Drain water from tree holes and fill with sand or perform tree surgery

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