Kern Public Health: 2 people infected with West Nile virus

Kern Public Health: 2 people infected with West Nile virus »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Two people have contracted West Nile virus, the Kern County Department of Public Health said Tuesday.

Five other possible cases of human infections are under investigation, the county department said.

No other details on the infected people were given.

The county department said about 80 percent of infected people show no symptoms. Those with symptoms have problems five to 15 days after contracting West Nile virus via a mosquito bite.

"This is something that is preventable, and we want people to really take seriously that they are at risk, and they need to use the prevention that's available to them," Public Health Officer Dr. Claudia Jonah told Eyewitness News.

Rob Quiring of Kern Mosquito and Vector Control said eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, stagnant water, is a key part of prevention.

"At this time of year, you'd better think that every mosquito out there has the virus,” Quiring added. "So, it only takes one bite."

The health department reminded people of tips for avoiding West Nile virus:

DUSK/DAWN

Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset. Also make sure that the screens on your doors/windows are properly placed and secure and use protective clothing if going outdoors.

DEET

Apply insect repellant containing DEET according to label instructions and do not forget to reapply as recommended.

DRAIN

Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.