Human cases of West Nile virus reported in Kern

Kern County has its first reported human case of West Nile virus this year, the county Public Health Services department said Thursday.

The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites and can cause flu-like symptoms. Most cases are mild but there have been cases of severe illness and death among some infected people. There are no vaccines for most mosquito-borne illnesses, according to the county.

“Summer months typically lead to an increase in mosquito activity in Kern County,” Public Health Director Matt Constantine said in a news release. “Kern residents should take precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as this is the most risky time of year for mosquito-borne illness.”

Some of those precautions include avoiding standing water, using mosquito repellant, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors as well as making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

The Community Action Partnership of Kern will have a special guest on Friday to help prepare for a food giveaway.

Thad Beaty, guitarist for the country music band Sugarland, will be helping prepare food to be handed out for free to those in need from 8-10 a.m. Saturday at the Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. Beaty will be at the CAPK Food Bank, 1807 Feliz Drive, at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Beaty is in town for a Sugarland concert on Friday night at the Rabobank Arena on Truxtun Avenue.

For more information, call CAPK at 326-5236.

The Kern County Department of Human Services is offering training on Saturday for those interested in taking in a foster kid or probation teen.

The training is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department office, 100 E. California Ave. Participants will receive an orientation, hear a panel discussion with parents who have fostered teens, get a chance to obtain CPR certification and more.

Those interested can RSVP by calling 631-6204. Walk-ins will not be accommodated.

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