Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in Fresno County.
Health and mosquito control officials said two collections of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. One was found in Fresno; the other was on the west side of the county. The authorities did not say when the mosquitoes were discovered to have West Nile.
Statewide this year, a person in Kings County and another in Los Angeles have been infected with West Nile. Most people have no symptoms or only flu-like discomfort from the virus, but the disease can cause severe neurological problems.
“We expected that this is coming into West Nile season,” said Steve Mulligan, manager of Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District that covers Clovis. “We just want people to be aware of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses.”
West Nile was first detected in mosquitoes in California in 2004.
The Culex species of mosquito that carries West Nile virus also can carry Saint Louis encephalitis virus. Earlier this month, Fresno County reported finding mosquitoes carrying the Saint Louis virus. There have been no reports of a person being infected in the county, but in 2016 one person in Fresno County became infected. The symptoms of of the Saint Louis encephalitis virus are similar to those of West Nile.
People need to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent or wearing long sleeves and long pants when mosquitoes are active, which is generally dawn and dusk, county health officials said.
Mosquito problems can be reported to local vector control districts. To find the mosquito control district in your area, go to the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District website.