SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - The first case of West Nile Virus in the state of California has been found in Kings County.
Health officials in neighboring San Luis Obispo County are reminding residents to limit the spread of mosquito-borne disease by protecting themselves from mosquito bites and helping eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
"When we take steps to prevent mosquito breeding and bites, we're stopping the spread of disease," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the County of San Luis Obispo. "While West Nile virus has become a part of life here in California, it's important to remember that we can take action to keep ourselves and our families safe. Simple, low-tech steps like draining sources of standing water go a long way when it comes to protecting our community from mosquito-borne illnesses."
West Nile Virus is commonly transmitted to humans and animals by mosquitoes.
To prevent mosquito bites, focus on protecting yourself and your home:
- Apply a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. (Follow label directions for safety.)
- Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Check and repair all screens, including screen doors, to keep mosquitoes out.
To eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home, focus on eliminating standing water:
- Find and drain containers that collect water around the yard, such as empty cans, buckets, flowerpots, old tires, trash cans, swimming pool covers and more.
- Clear roof gutters so water can drain properly.
- Clean and scrub bird baths, fountains, pet dishes, and other water sources at least once a week.
The last reported case of human West Nile Virus in SLO County was confirmed in 2016.
While most people infected with West Nile do not experience any symptoms, about one in five experience flu-like symptoms and a small number of people (less than one percent) develop serious neurologic illness. The risk of serious illness is higher for people over 50 years of age and people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
For a helpful guide on how to protect you and your home from mosquitoes, click here.
For more information on West Nile Virus activity in California visit http://www.westnile.ca.gov.
For mosquito prevention tips and resources for San Luis Obispo County visit http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/health/publichealth/ehs/services/pests/pestsforms.htm.