West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Adults 60 years old and older have the highest risk of severe illness caused by West Nile virus.
One in five people who get infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms, but about one in 150 of the infected will develop a serious, potentially fatal, illness. West Nile season could be twice as long as usual.
The four illnesses occurred in Los Angeles, Kern and Riverside Counties.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the Riverside County WNV cases are the first recorded statewide so far in 2018.
The county Department of Public Health does not cover the cities of Pasadena or Long Beach, which have their own health agencies, but neither city has yet reported any human West Nile cases. "Unlike the common cold, which is easily transmitted, the West Nile virus can only be spread by mosquito bites, and there are easy steps to take to reduce your risk of getting bitten".
Despite a lack of rain across Central Texas, the Bell County Public Health District said the type of mosquitos that are capable of carrying West Nile are still abundant.
Health officials say anyone who becomes ill after exposure to mosquitoes should contact his or her health care provider. "Taking just a few minutes to remove any standing water from your yard, apply recommended mosquito repellents and ensure your window and door screens are free of holes can help protect you and your community from this risky disease".
West Nile virus symptoms can include fever, nausea, headaches and muscle aches.
Mosquito-eating fish are available to the public for use in ornamental ponds and water features.
Orange County has not reported any cases this year. Since mosquitoes spread West Nile, the best precautions include wearing insect repellent along with long sleeves and trousers.
Apply EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are all around us and this is the time of year is when they thrive, especially with all of the standing water from the excessive rainfall.
Empty and wash birdbaths and wading pools weekly.