West Nile Virus Still Active Despite End of Summer Months

September 12, 2014

Santa Fe Springs, Calif. – The Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District (GLACVCD) continues to remind residents that the threat of West Nile virus (WNV) is still widespread in Los Angeles County. This week, GLACVCD confirmed WNV-positive test results for 21 mosquito samples and seven sentinel chickens that tested positive for West Nile virus.

“As long as we have warm weather and standing water, mosquitoes will be active,” said Kelly Middleton, GLACVCD’s Director of Community Affairs. “We can expect more West Nile virus activity in Los Angeles County in the coming weeks.”

The District recommends people use mosquito repellents shown to be most effective, specifically those containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Repellents should always be applied according to label directions. Doors and window screens must be used and in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of the home. Outdoor patio fans can be effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. 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.