Long Beach Residents Urged to Take Action Against West Nile Virus

September 24, 2014

Santa Fe Springs, Calif. – The continued threat of West Nile virus (WNV) in Long Beach prompted the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) to remind residents to take the necessary precautions against mosquitoes and to report any issues to vector control.

According to the City of Long Beach Health Department, there have been a total of 22 human cases of West Nile virus in its city so far this year. GLACVCD and the City of Long Beach work together to effectively conduct disease surveillance and control mosquito populations throughout the city.

So far this year, both agencies confirmed a total of seven mosquito samples and seven dead birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus. “We have been promptly responding to resident service requests and conducting control efforts for mosquitoes,” said Levy Sun, GLACVCD’s public information officer.

“Since a majority of mosquito breeding sources are in people’s backyards, we can’t do this alone; this is a shared responsibility with residents.”

The District recommends people use mosquito repellents where mosquitoes are present. Effective repellents contain EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.

“In addition to personal protection against mosquitoes, dumping and draining stagnant water from outdoor containers is a simple, yet very effective measure,” said Sun. “Also, reducing runoff from overwatering in the yard can prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in stagnant water.”

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. Residents experiencing mosquito problems or wish to report dirty, green pools can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.ReportMosquitoes.org.

For more information about the City of Long Beach’s vector control program, call (562) 570-4132 or visit http://www.longbeach.gov.