West Nile Virus: Fresno County Woman First To Test Positive

The Fresno County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed that a woman has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The Riverdale woman, whose name has not been released, is the first human to test positive for the virus this year, health officials said.

In a news release sent out Friday morning, the Department of Health's interim health officer Robert Oldham said, "confirmation of this case is a strong reminder that everyone should take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites."

In 2012, Fresno County reported 28 human cases of West Nile Virus, with two ending in deaths. Statewide, that number balloons to 479 human cases resulting in 20 deaths.

The department of health released these tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos and potentially contracting the virus:

-- Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.

-- Use repellent, especially in the early morning and in the evening, when mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active.

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

-- 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. Neglected pools are the # 1 source of mosquito breeding in residential areas. More than 3,000 neglected swimming pools have been reported in Fresno County.

-- Get FREE mosquito fish for backyard ponds or horse troughs from mosquito abatement districts. Call 559-896-1085 for information.

-- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels.