Five people in Madera County have contracted the West Nile virus. One of those victims had to be hospitalized. In all of 2009, Madera County only had one human case. Health officials believe the problem comes from breeding grounds created by a large number of foreclosed or abandoned homes with dirty swimming pools. Four of the five cases were discovered in the Madera Ranchos area.
Madera residents are encouraged to empty anything with standing water and if you live in a mosquito prevalent area -- wear repellant and long sleeved shirts -- especially around dusk.