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Two infected with West Nile virus, more showing signs, Fresno health officials say

Here’s how West Nile is spread — and what symptoms to look for after a mosquito bite

West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.
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West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.

Two people have tested positive for the West Nile virus in Fresno County.

Aside from those two, five others are suspected of carrying the virus, the Fresno County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.

The health department first issued a warning about mosquitoes carrying West Nile last month. Mosquitoes collected by the department tested positive and were found in the area of the 93710 ZIP code, which is roughly between Shaw to Herndon avenues and Blackstone and Willow avenues in northeast Fresno.

In a news release announcing the positive human cases of West Nile virus, the health department did not disclose where the people were exposed.

People bitten by infected mosquitoes can become ill with fever and other flu-like symptoms. A small percentage of bites can cause serious, sometimes fatal, illnesses.

Dr. Ken Bird, Fresno County deputy health officer, said confirmation of the West Nile virus should alarm residents. It’s “a strong reminder that everyone should increase efforts to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites.”

The county health department said it is collaborating with mosquito abatement teams and officials from the Central California Blood Center to bring awareness to the community on the dangers of West Nile virus.

Zika and West Nile viruses are both transmitted by mosquitoes. Officials from public health and from Sacramento-Yolo vector control explain how to protect yourself from bites.

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Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.
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