VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Ventura County Public Health officials have confirmed the county's first case of human West Nile Virus of 2017.
No further details were available on the patient affected. Public health officials say 315 cases of West Nile Virus from 21 California counties this year alone have been reported thus far. Additionally, 463 dead birds and 3,291 mosquito samples from various counties in the state have tested positive for the virus.
The Ventura County Public Health Department said the following in a statement to the public:
West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitos and birds and is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals - less than 1 percent - can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 60 years of age and older and individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes or hypertension have a higher chance of getting sick or develop complications.
The California Department of Public Health recommends the community protect themselves against mosquito bites and West Nile Virus by practicing the following tips:
- DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age.
- DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes that carry WNV bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, by emptying flower pots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency.
The community is encouraged to report dead birds by calling 1-877-968-2473. In Ventura County, residents may call the mosquito complaint hotline at 805-658-4310 to report mosquito activity or new breeding sites.