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The California Department of Public Health reported five additional human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in the past week, bringing the total in 2018 to nine in six counties to date.

This comes after trapped mosquitos from the area tested positive for the virus.

The Marquette County Health Department said last week that West Nile virus has returned to the region after laboratory testing revealed its presence in a crow earlier this month. "The virus is now active in our region and the risk of human illness is here".

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WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Three Connecticut residents were diagnosed and hospitalized due to West Nile infection.

Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Approved mosquito repellents have ingredients that include DEET, picaridin, PMD, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The risk of contracting the virus can be lowered through basic mosquito prevention measures, such as wearing long-sleeve shirts and trousers when outside, using DEET-based bug sprays, effective screening of windows in homes, avoiding mosquito breeding habitats and using mosquito netting over strollers when outside.

If going outside, use an EPA-approved insect repellent. Windows and doors without screens should be kept shut, especially at night.

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West Nile is found every year in the Michiana are and it's "present in the birds in the area" Mary Wade-Taxter said.

"No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available", the CDC website states. Among the 1 in 5 individuals who develop illness, they will generally experience mild symptoms that may include: headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash.

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