Saint Louis Encephalitis found in Fresno Mosquitoes, which makes it the first case in California this Year
In June, a collection of mosquitoes near Polk and Bullard avenues in northwest Fresno tested positive for the Saint Louis encephalitis virus. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have the virus show symptoms abruptly and can have symptoms ranging from a fever, a headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. However, most people show no symptoms of the virus, but in severe cases, the person can have neurological problems, often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Adults are more at risk for severe illness from the virus and the disease can be fatal in rare cases. Saint Louis encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes and the mosquitoes that carry the virus are the same as those that can infect people with West Nile virus.
Tim Phillips, manager of the Fresno Mosquito & Vector Control District, stated that the Fresno mosquito pool is the first to test positive for the virus this year in California. It’s also the first time the city has had mosquitoes test positive for the virus since 1992. Last year, a batch of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus in Fresno County and one person became infected, was hospitalized, and recovered. Kern and Sacramento counties each had a Saint Louis encephalitis patient in 2016. Any standing water around homes where mosquitoes can breed should be eliminated and it is important for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using repellent or wearing long sleeves and pants during times of mosquito activity