Additional West Nile virus activity confirmed
LOS ANGELES (August 30, 2019) – The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD / District) reminds residents to take a few simple steps to prevent mosquito bites this holiday weekend. Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have been collected from 13 cities in the District so far in 2019. The new positive samples were collected from areas of Lakewood and Reseda.
Prevention of mosquito bites and elimination of mosquito breeding water sources is the most effective way to prevent West Nile virus. When outdoors during dusk or dawn, apply mosquito repellent, and wear long sleeves and pants. Female mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colored clothing; so wearing light colored and loosely fitted clothing can help keep you safe. Keep mosquitoes out of your home by maintaining window and door screens. Mosquitoes can fit through a hole less than ¼ inch in diameter.
“To ensure protection of family, friends and pets, it’s important that residents take the proper steps to eliminate standing water on properties,” said Mary-Joy Coburn, the District’s community affairs director. “If planning to spend time outdoors over the Labor Day weekend, apply insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.”
Residents are urged to use EPA-registered repellents when spending time outdoors to prevent mosquito bites and WNV illness. Not all repellents are effective against mosquitoes but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents with the following active ingredients: DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
West Nile virus is endemic in Los Angeles County, and the summer heat can increase virus activity and mosquito populations. So far this year, 57 WNV human cases have been reported in California, four of which were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Visit CalSurv Maps for a comprehensive look at this year’s West Nile virus activity throughout Los Angeles County and Southern California.
The District works year-round to actively search for and manage water-holding areas such as gutters, ditches, storm drain channels, basins, and non-functional pools and ponds, but there are many more mosquito breeding sites on private property that require the public’s attention. Mosquito control is a shared responsibility and the District needs the help of the community to eliminate water-holding containers to reduce mosquito populations.
For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at www.glacvcd.org.
About West Nile virus
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus is a leading cause of severe infections of the nervous system among adults older than age 50 in Los Angeles County.
WNV is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for WNV. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several days 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 Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is a public health service agency formed under the authority of the California State Health & Safety Code. Our mission is to reduce populations of public health vectors below nuisance levels and prevent human infection associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases.