West Nile Virus Activity Increasing In Kern County
Kern County’s West Nile Virus Task Force is reporting increased local activity in mosquito samples and positive dead birds with West Nile Virus. Only one human West Nile Virus infection was reported last year in Kern County. But this year’s West Nile Virus activity numbers may be an indicator that more human infections are inevitable unless the community remains vigilant.
Dr. Jonah, Public Health Officer for Kern County warns that this increase should heighten the community’s need to adhere to the three “D’s”.
Dr. Jonah states, “Your best mosquito defense is to avoid outside activity at DAWN and DUSK hours. When outdoors, use an insect repellant that contains DEET. And please DRAIN all standing water on your property.”
Kern County currently has 13 mosquito samples and 12 dead birds that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. At this same time last year, Kern County had a total of 3 mosquito samples and 3 dead birds that tested positive for West Nile Virus. These numbers show a dramatic increase despite an on-going and aggressive mosquito abatement and treatment campaign by the West Nile Task Force.
Robert Quiring, Manager of the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District, states, “Our total number of service request for mosquito related services are down from last year, but we continue to outpace previous year’s treatment of non-maintained swimming pools. We encourage the community, real estate managers or other individuals who regularly access unoccupied and for-sale homes to please report any unmaintained pools to us or their local mosquito and vector control agency.”