(VVNG.com)- In July the first case of West Nile Virus came to the San Bernardino County area. The first case, although not a human case made those studying the virus realize that infected mosquitos were then in the San Bernardino County area. The Division of Environmental Health Services Mosquito and Vector Control Program places flocks of chickens throughout the county of San Bernardino County in order to detect West Nile Virus. A chicken from a flock located in the city of Rialto tested positive in July of this year.
Two human cases have been reported in San Bernardino county at this time. These are the first confirmed cases this year. In 2013 at this time of year there were three cases, one that unfortunately resulted in a death. As of August 13th there are 57 human cases reported in the state of California and two deaths as a result.
Humans and animals are infected through the bites of mosquitoes. Most do not show symptoms, 20% will show mild symptoms and less than 1% will develop a severe illness. Symptoms may include a high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, headache, weakness, numbness or even vision loss or coma in severe cases. There are no known cures so prevention is necessary.
Those 50 years of age or older should take the most precautions as they are the most severely affected by West Nile Virus. To help safeguard your family and those around you reduce standing water including bird baths, ponds, old tires, buckets, flower pots, clogged gutters, puddles or green swimming pools which facilitate a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Avoid going out before or after sunset, when mosquitoes are most active. Wear clothing that covers your skin including shoes, socks, pants, long sleeve shirts that are preferably loose-fitting and light in color. Use insect repellent that contains DEET in the ingredients, those that do not contain DEET are proven less effective. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in order to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
If you see a dead bird you are encouraged to submit a dead bird report at http://www.westnile.ca.gov. To report a green pool or any other mosquito breeding source contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph/dehs.