A dangerous mosquito-borne virus has been detected at Buena Vista Lake, marking its first appearance in Kern County this season, according to the West Side Mosquito & Vector Control District.
St. Louis Encephalitis Virus was detected in mosquito samples taken from a source near the lake, the district said.
SLEV can cause “fever, headache, dizziness, nausea, and malaise,” as well as coma in extreme cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The overall fatality rate of SLEV is between five and 15 percent.
Other symptoms include “stiff neck, confusion, disorientation” and “tremors and unsteadiness,” the CDC says.
Technicians are “actively treating and monitoring the area” of Buena Vista Lake, the district said.
The district is urging the public to take precautions against mosquitos while engaging in outdoor activities, and says peak mosquito activity occurs during dawn and dusk.
People should use insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3435, the district said.
Anyone worried that they may have been infected by a mosquito-borne illness should seek medical attention, according to the district.
Those who find possible mosquito breeding sources – such as standing water – or have adult mosquitos around their homes, can contact the district at 661-763-3510.