West Nile Virus Update: More Activity in Los Angeles County

August 15, 2014

Santa Fe Springs, Calif. – As West Nile virus activity continues to increase, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) advises residents to remove stagnant water around the home and wear insect repellent for protection when mosquitoes are active. This week, the vector control agency has confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) in 21 additional mosquito samples.

So far this year, the District has reported a total of 82 positive mosquito samples and five dead birds. A total list of all positives can be found at www.GLACVCD.org. In addition to conducting surveillance of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, the District controls populations of mosquitoes throughout its jurisdiction in Los Angeles County.

“These results are indicative of widespread WNV activity throughout the County,” says GLACVCD Community Affairs Director Kelly Middleton. “We hope this will motivate residents to take precautions against mosquito bites. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to change your family’s life.”

Residents should remove dirty, stagnant water from containers where mosquitoes breed. Some common breeding sources include buckets, birdbaths and plant saucers. In the right conditions, hundreds of mosquitoes can emerge from breeding sources as biting adults in as little as five days.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days, and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several weeks to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts because birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading the virus. Visit www.westnile.ca.gov to report dead birds. For more information, please contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944‐ 9656 or visit www.glacvcd.org.