KERN COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH MICHELLE CORSON –
Warmer weather brings increased mosquito activity and the first mosquito pool in Kern County has been confirmed with West Nile virus (WNV). While there have been no human cases reported yet this year, Kern County Public Health reminds everyone to take precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes.
WNV is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. While many mosquito-borne illnesses such as WNV cause only mild symptoms in most people, the infection can cause severe illness and even death in rare cases.
“With the seasonal return of mosquitoes to our community and confirmation that West Nile Virus is present in our community, we urge everyone to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” says Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “Simple preventative measures such as removing sources of standing water in our yards can minimize the opportunity for mosquitoes to thrive in and around our homes.”
- Reduce mosquito breeding sites: Remove standing or stagnate water from containers such flowerpots, fountains, birdbaths, pet bowls, and wading pools.
- Clean/scrub containers that collect water weekly to remove any potential mosquito eggs.
- Maintain swimming pools in working condition.
- Stock garden ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae.
- Report areas of mosquito infestation to your local vector control district.
Decrease risk of mosquito-transmitted infections:
- Avoid mosquitoes and mosquito-infested areas at all times of the day.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Apply mosquito repellant to exposed skin when outdoors.
- Ensure doors and windows have screens in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of your home.