(FOX40.COM) — The Stanislaus County Public Health Department said human cases in the county are almost triple the amount compared to last year as counties throughout Northern California continue to report high numbers of West Nile virus.
As of Sept. 15, 2023, in Stanislaus County, 28 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported, including one death. Last year, 15 human cases were reported throughout the entire mosquito season.
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In California, 124 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported. Last year, the number of cases on Sept. 15, 2022, was at 51.
David Heft, general manager of Turlock’s Mosquito Abatement District, said, “The early arrival of mosquitoes this season with the heavy winter rains allowed West Nile virus infection to get started earlier this season, leading to a heavy disease burden.”
The county’s public health department continues to remind its residents to take proactive measures to prevent mosquito bites.
“Unfortunately, there is no human vaccine and no specific treatment for West Nile Virus. With the high amount of West Nile Virus activity we are seeing this year, it is important for people, especially those most at risk for serious illness, to take steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Thea Papasozomenos, Stanislaus County’s public health officer.
The best way to control the spread is by controlling the mosquito population, the health department said. The most effective ways of doing that are listed below.
- DRAIN all sources of standing water around homes and properties to prevent mosquito
breeding. Regularly empty flowerpots, bird baths, gutters, and other containers that collect
- DRESS in long sleeves, long pants, socks, and shoes outdoors to minimize exposure to
mosquito bites, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- DEFEND with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)‐registered insect repellent that
contains ingredients like DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to protect exposed skin
from mosquito bites.
- DUSK and DAWN: Minimize outdoor activities during peak mosquito activity times, typically
during dawn and dusk.