First human Case of West Nile virus confirmed in Tulare County

Tulare County officials have issued advisories to residents to remain vigilant and protect against mosquito bites.

Tulare County Public Health officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in a Tulare County resident. Multiple mosquito samples carrying the West Nile virus and the St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) have been detected in various locations within Tulare County.

Driving the news: The public health officials are advising residents to take precautions to reduce their risk of contracting both West Nile virus and SLEV through mosquito bites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, and there is currently no vaccine or medication to treat the virus.


  • Dr. Thomas Overton, Tulare County Deputy Public Health Officer, encourages residents to use safeguards such as insect repellent and proper clothing to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes.
  • Though most infected individuals experience no symptoms, about one in five people will develop a fever and other symptoms within two to 14 days after being infected.
  • Tulare County Public Health officials emphasize the importance of residents being aware of potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes around their properties, particularly unoccupied homes with swimming pools or backyard ponds.

Why it matters: Residents are advised to follow certain precautions to avoid mosquito bites and reduce the risk of exposure to both West Nile virus and SLEV:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent, such as DEET, and carefully follow the instructions on the label.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
  • Eliminate standing water that may serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Repair or replace torn or damaged door and window screens.
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