Two people test positive for West Nile Virus in Fresno County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The number of people infected with the West Nile Virus this year - and the growing number of areas where mosquitoes are testing positive - have local health officials concerned.

Two cases have been confirmed in Fresno County.

At least five more Fresno County patients are suspected of having the virus.

120 samples of trapped mosquitoes have tested positive so experts want to send an urgent reminder that you need to protect yourself with repellent and get rid of standing water.

RELATED: Mosquitoes near Fresno State test positive for West Nile Virus

The Culex mosquito, which carries the West Nile Virus, bites during the evening.

Laura Hardwick is one of two Fresno County patients infected with West Nile. She's being treated at Clovis Community but at this point Hardwick can't stand or feed herself.

"You never think it's going to happen to you until it does. And then when it does it hits you like a tornado," says her husband, Thomas Hardwick.

The two confirmed and five suspected cases lived in different areas - from Clovis to southeast Fresno.

RELATED: Fresno woman hospitalized after being infected with West Nile Virus

Fresno County had 15 West Nile Virus cases confirmed last year but health officials worry this year could be worse if people don't take preventative steps.

"The positive pool of mosquitoes is concerning right now because that means there are a lot of mosquitoes out there breeding, infected with the West Nile Virus," says Fresno County educator Leticia Berber.

Steve Mulligan of the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District says crews have been spraying insecticide in troublesome areas of standing water.

"We've also collected positive samples from other cities in our district including Kingsburg, Selma, Fowler, Sanger, Reedley and Fresno and Clovis."

Mosquito season lasts through October.

SEE ALSO: How to protect yourself from mosquitoes

Your best defense against West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases remains bug spray.

"Repellents that include deet or picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535," explains Mulligan.

Also, you should get rid of standing water.

Mosquitoes can even lay eggs in water left in a bottle cap.

80% of the people infected with the West Nile Virus don't show any symptoms.

Older people or those with weakened immune systems will suffer from bad headaches, fever and nausea.

Residents can call their Mosquito Abatement District representative or visit www.fresnocountymosquito.com for more information.
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