West Nile Arrives Early

Fresno, CA "Millions ... More than enough mosquito's can come from a pool to infest entire neighborhoods." Steve Mulligan, District Manager of the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District is concerned because a high percentage of the mosquito's sampled have been positive for the virus.

Tim Phillips, of the Vector Control District notes that mosquito season, and the threat of West Nile Virus doesn't usually come until summer. "Not only is it two months earlier than we would have expected to see West Nile Virus in Fresno, there's so much of it we're concerned for the public."

Concerned, because West Nile can be fatal. Of the three confirmed cases in Fresno County last year, one person died. "Not everybody that gets bitten by an infected mosquito, will get it." Dr. Ken Bird of the Fresno County Health Department said. "Many of them will get it and not even realize they have it, and then a lot of people will get a feverish flu like illness, and then a very small percentage will get a very severe illness where it infects their nervous system."

The best advice to avoid getting West Nile, use mosquito repellent, especially if you are outside in the early morning, or evening hours when mosquito's are most active. Get rid of standing water around your home where mosquito's can breed, and if you know of an abandoned pool, call the mosquito abatement district. They can stock it with fish that eat mosquito larvae and help keep you safe from West Nile Virus.

Dr. Bird said, "It is a real health concern. People needn't panic, but it's something they need to be aware of."


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