Three Back-to-School Tips to Stay Safe from West Nile Virus

September 5, 2014

Santa Fe Springs, Calif. — The Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District (GLACVCD) welcomes all students back to school and wish to remind them and their families that the threat of West Nile virus is still widespread in Los Angeles County.

This week, GLACVCD confirmed WNV-positive test results for 29 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus. In addition nine dead birds were positive for the virus.

Here are three tips to avoid mosquito bites and the diseases they can transmit.

1. Understand the Threat – “It isn’t unusual to see increases in virus activity around this time,” said Levy Sun, GLACVCD public information officer. “Everything you learned last year about West Nile virus will be put to the test again this year.” Twenty percent of people infected will exhibit flu-like symptoms and one in 150 people infected will require hospitalization. There is no vaccine or cure for the virus. Please refer to the chart below for a breakdown of the latest West Nile virus activity.

2. Apply Insect Repellent – Many students play sports or are outdoors from late afternoon to evening. During this time, mosquitoes are active. The District recommends using insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites and to reduce the risk of acquiring any mosquito-borne diseases. Insect repellent that are most effective contains EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

3. Tip and Toss – Tip over and toss out any stagnant, dirty water in containers around the home. It takes as little as five days for mosquito eggs to hatch into biting adults.