West Nile virus activity continues in LA County
July 29, 2020 – The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has confirmed 10 additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus (WNV) this week. This brings the total number of samples positive for the virus within the district’s service area to 40 this year. This is the first positive sample of the season in Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Burbank, Downey, Encino, La Mirada, North Hills, Panorama City, Santa Fe Springs, and Whittier.
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 increase in positive mosquito samples are a reminder that West Nile virus is endemic in Los Angeles County ,” said Mary-Joy Coburn, director of Community Affairs for GLACVCD. “Residents are urged to remove standing water from their property and wear repellent to protect against mosquito bites.”
Many mosquito repellents are available to prevent bites, but they do not all work equally well. The Centers for Disease Control recommend products with the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus as being safe and effective against mosquitoes that can transmit disease when used according to the labels. Wearing loose-fitting long sleeves and pants can also help deter bites.
Any water left standing for more than one week in containers such as flower pots, fountains and pet dishes provides the perfect breeding habitat for mosquitoes. GLACVCD would like to remind residents that even the smallest water source can contribute to a large public health problem.
Mosquito control is a shared responsibility and residents must take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:
- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.
- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
- Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly.
- Request mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
- Wear insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.
- Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.
For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656 or online at www.glacvcd.org. Follow the District on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @GLAmosquito
Mary-Joy Coburn, Director of Community Affairs | (562) 944-9656