The first case of human West Nile Virus (WNV) illness for this year was confirmed in Central California, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
The case was discovered in Kings County, CDPH confirmed--which includes cities such as Corcoran and Hanford.
According to public health officials, WNV activities were found in San Diego, Orange and San Mateo counties. The rainy season has also effected the mosquito breeding sites.
WNV can be transmitted to humans and animals through infected mosquitoes--although the risk serious illness for people is low, CDPH said.
But the virus can cause serious neurological illnesses in less than one percent, including meningitis or encephalitis. Individuals over the age of 50, or those with diabetes or hypertension have a higher chance of getting sick.
The CDPH is urging all Californians to take necessary precautions against the virus by doing the following:
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, eucalyptus or lemon oils, picaradin
- Watch out for mosquitoes in the early mornings and evenings since they usually bite around that time
- Drain any standing water on your property, including flower pots and buckets to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs