Kern County gets first human case of West Nile virus this year

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County has its first human case of the West Nile virus this year.

The Kern County Public Health Services Department said it has received confirmation of the first reported human infection of the virus this year. There were eight cases in 2020, according to the department’s West Nile page.

West Nile is a disease spread by mosquitoes that most often spreads to people during the summer and early fall when the mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active.

While the virus typically only causes mild flu-like symptoms in most people, the infection can cause severe illness and even death in some cases. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, neck stiffness and confusion.

To decrease your risk of catching the virus, avoid mosquito-infested areas, wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors, apply mosquito repellent while outdoors and ensure that doors and windows have screens in good repair.

“West Nile virus is a seasonal threat to our community and we ask everyone to do their part and take action to minimize standing water sources,” says KCPH Director Brynn Carrigan. “Working together, we can help reduce the impact of this disease.”

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