The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is calling on residents throughout Greater Los Angeles County to help in the fight against this year’s West Nile virus epidemic. In just one week, GLACVCD has reported another 9 WNV positive dead birds and 60 WNV positive mosquito samples collected from all over the District’s 1,330 square mile service area.
Of the 9 WNV positive dead birds collected, one was collected in Bassett (zip code 91746), one in Bellflower (zip code 90706), three in Cerritos (zip code 90703), two in South El Monte (zip code 91733), one in Van Nuys (zip code 91405), and one in West Hills (zip code 91304).
This is the first incidence of West Nile virus activity for Bassett, Hawaiian Gardens, Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles City, La Habra Heights, Hacienda Heights, Los Feliz, South El Monte, Sunland, and West Hills for 2011.
This brings the District’s total to 45 WNV positive dead birds, 174 WNV positive mosquito samples, and four sentinel chickens with antibodies so far this year.
“We’re using every available medium of communication to get the word out about the seriousness of this public health threat,” said Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever. “We are asking residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites and contribute to the control effort by eliminating or reporting all backyard mosquito breeding sources.”
Residents can be proactive and follow the 3 D’s of West Nile virus prevention to help stop the transmission of West Nile virus:
1. Dump/Drain: Eliminate standing water on your property because that’s where mosquitoes breed.
2. Dusk/Dawn: Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.
3. Defend: Wear insect repellent containing EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil and long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors. Use properly-fitted screens free from tears on windows and doors around your home to keep mosquitoes out.
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 5 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.
GLACVCD recommends that individuals exhibiting these symptoms following a mosquito bite consult a physician as soon as possible. Those at highest risk for severe cases of West Nile virus are children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
For more information about West Nile virus and our vector control services, please contact Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 x510 or visit www.glacvcd.org. For statewide information and statistics about West Nile virus, or to report a dead bird or squirrel, visit www.westnile.ca.gov or call 1-877-WNV BIRD.