First West Nile Virus death in Fresno Co. reported

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The first human death caused by the West Nile Virus (WNV) in Fresno County has been confirmed by the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) on Wednesday.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in 2023 so far, there have been 286 reported human WNV cases in California, including 10 deaths. 10 of the reported cases have been reported by the FCDPH, and now, one death.

Since WNV was first introduced in California in 2003, there have been more than 7300 human WNV cases and more than 330 WNV-related deaths across the state.

“Our heartfelt condolences go to the family and friends. We need to stay vigilant as mosquitoes continue to test positive for WNV in the County and may continue to cause several severe illnesses, including WNV infection, which can require hospitalization and intensive care,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County Interim Health Officer.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and contracting West Nile Virus, Fresno County residents are urged by the FCDPH to take the following precautions:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes and repair or replace screens that have holes or tears.

  • Eliminate standing water and containers that can hold water from around the home.

  • Contact mosquito abatement districts to report poorly maintained swimming pools or water features that appear green.

Residents can also call mosquito abatement districts or click here for more information on how to protect their family, their home, and their community from WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

To report dead birds and for information on WNV activity in California, visit the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website by clicking here.

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