Zika has finally appeared in Fresno County. An adult woman tested positive for the virus after traveling internationally and developing flu-like symptoms. Health officials won’t reveal where she traveled.
Fifty-five cases of Zika have been reported in California since January of last year, out of almost a thousand nationally. None are believed to have been transmitted locally, though some were spread through sexual contact.
The disease is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. David Luchini from the Fresno County Health Department says it’s the same species that transmits dengue fever, chikungunya virus and other tropical diseases.
"The Aedes is more worrisome, in a sense, because it's a non-native species," he says. "Never thought we would have this species in this valley--and now it's here. And now it opens up to all these new types of diseases."
To prevent the mosquitoes from reproducing, officials stress checking property for standing water and placing mesh screens over storm drains. And to keep these diseases out in the first place: Don’t get bitten. Luchini advises avoiding mosquitoes while traveling and for three weeks after returning.