BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County now has its seventh human case of the West Nile virus this season, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Statewide, there were 197 human cases of West Nile reported across 24 counties through Jan. 4, the majority of which came from Los Angeles County, according to the department.

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.