Los Angeles, Calif. – West Nile virus activity is heating up earlier this year, compared to the same period in 2015, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD). This past week, GLACVCD confirmed additional West Nile virus (WNV) positive samples in Valley Glen and Santa Clarita.
GLACVCD confirmed one WNV positive mosquito collected from a vector control trap located in Valley Glen. A WNV positive dead bird was confirmed in Santa Clarita.
Year-to-date, GLACVCD confirmed seven mosquito samples and eight dead birds that were WNV positive — compared to two mosquito samples and no dead birds in the same period last year.
Vector control advises residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent. Effective repellents contain EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Residents should also dump and drain any standing water around the home. This prevents mosquitoes from laying their eggs in any container that can hold 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.
Invasive Aedes Mosquitoes Update
Invasive black-and-white mosquitoes remain a concern for vector control officials as summer progresses. Aedes mosquitoes are now widespread in many California communities. Residents are reporting day-biting mosquito problems in various communities. Vector control urges residents to stop the infestations from spreading to their homes.
Aedes mosquitoes are invasive to Los Angeles County and are efficient at transmitting (vectoring) Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever viruses. Those viruses are currently not transmitting from mosquitoes to people in L.A. County. However, the importance of avoiding mosquito bites remains the same with Aedes mosquitoes, just as they are with native species that carry West Nile virus.
If residents are still experiencing mosquito problems even after dumping and draining all standing water, they can receive help from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.ReportMosquitoes.org