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Health officials confirm first case of West Nile Virus in Ventura County for 2018

On Thursday, the Ventura County Public Health Department confirmed the county’s first case of West Nile Virus for this year.

Public health officials say there are currently 12 human cases of West Nile Virus from eight counties in California. Dozens of dead birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and 674 mosquito samples from 24 counties in California have tested positive for the virus.

West Nile is carried by mosquitos and birds and is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. While the risk of serious illness to most people is low, officials remind the public that the virus could result serious, even deadly, in some individuals.

Those at higher risk include people 60 years of age or older and anyone with certain medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.

The California Department of Public Health recommends the public to protect themselves against mosquito bites by practicing what it calls the “Three D’s”:

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 West Nile Virus 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.

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