The district said there have been 26 reported cases of West Nile this year in California. This is the second West Nile Virus death in California in 2012. In 2011, there were 158 reported cases with 9 deaths.
"All residents, especially those over 50 years of age and those with chronic health conditions, must take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites," states Dr. Edward L. Moreno, Fresno County Department of Public Health, Director and Health Officer. "I also encourage residents to engage the services of their mosquito abatement district, if necessary, to eliminate possible mosquito-breeding sources around their homes."
The Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District recomends the residents take the following precautions to avoid being bitten by misquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus:
- Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
- Use repellent, especially in the early morning and in the evening, when mosquitoes that carry WNV are active.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have holes.
- Contact mosquito abatement districts to report poorly maintained swimming pools or water features that appear green. Neglected pools are the #1 source of mosquito breeding in residential areas. Over 3,000 neglected swimming pools have been reported in Fresno County.
- Get FREE mosquito fish for backyard ponds or horse troughs from mosquito abatement districts.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels.
Residents can visit the Fresno County Department of Public Health website at www.fcdph.org to download a "Heard the Buzzzzz?" brochure which contains steps to protect their family, their home, and their community from West Nile Virus.
Residents can also call 1-800-821-1577 to speak to a Mosquito Abatement District representative or visit www.mosquitobuzz.net and / or www.fresnomosquito.org For additional information about WNV or to report dead birds and dead tree squirrels, visit the California Department of Public Health website at www.westnile.ca.gov or call 1-877-WNV-BIRD.