Merced County reported its first human case of West Nile virus Friday.
The patient, a resident of northern Merced County, is expected to make a full recovery, according to Merced County Mosquito Abatement District news release.
The patient was hospitalized last week and able to recover from symptoms of the illness. The adult patient was released earlier this week, according to the district.
The person is the 41st Merced County resident who's been diagnosed with a West Nile condition since human cases were first reported in the county in 2004.
"This first confirmed illness in Merced County due to West Nile virus reminds us that we are moving into the high-risk season," Dr. Tim Livermore, county health officer, said in the news release.
He added, "While it is difficult to make predictions about the severity of West Nile virus this season, precaution should be taken to protect ourselves and our loved ones from mosquito bites."
Merced County Department of Public Health officials are working closely with the county mosquito abatement district regarding the case.
District officials recommend eliminating standing water around homes where mosquitoes might live, keeping swimming pools in good order and reporting suspected mosquito activity.
It's recommended that people attending outdoor events use insect repellent and wear light colors so mosquitoes will be less attracted to them. People are advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and to avoid being out during the first two hours of dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
Last week, a 2-year-old horse with West Nile died in Merced County. Mosquitoes, birds and chickens in the county also have tested positive for the virus.
For information on West Nile virus and steps people can take to protect themselves, visit www.westnile.ca.gov. For more on mosquito abatement, visit www.mcmosquito.org or contact abatement district manager-entomologist Allan Inman at (209) 722-1527.
Visiting reporter Javaria Tareen contributed to this report.