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SCVNews.com | West Nile Virus: L.A. County Year in Review | 12-03-2012
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[Vector Control] – With the holidays approaching and 2012 coming to a close, it’s a fitting time to take stock in what we have achieved and look ahead to the future. During the holiday downtime, take advantage of the opportunity to gain perspective on what matters most: family, friends, health, and peace of mind.

 

GLACVCD 2012 – Year in Review
Many parts of the nation experienced record numbers of West Nile virus (WNV) cases this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week more than 5,245 cases of WNV in people, including 236 deaths nationwide so far this year. Locally, the year began as a relatively moderate one until WNV activity spiked in August. In comparison to recent years, the level of activity is the worst we have seen since 2008.

 

It is important to know that the cooler temperatures of winter send some mosquitoes into hibernation, increasing the chance that a mosquito infected with West Nile virus will live long enough to transmit the virus when the weather warms up. Since mosquitoes are cold-blooded, the cooler temperatures slow down their metabolism, causing the mosquitoes to remain inactive for long periods, essentially extending their lives. As a result, while there will be fewer mosquitoes during the winter, residents must still remain vigilant and take precautions in guarding against mosquitoes that will emerge when we experience a change in weather.

 

District vector control specialists work year-round to protect residents by monitoring mosquito activity and controlling mosquito populations. Nonetheless, it is important for residents to take their own precautionary measures in protecting against mosquitoes: drain any standing water that collects from rain and sprinklers around your home to eliminate mosquito breeding, use insect repellent and wear protective clothing during evening and early morning hours, and install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

 

Please refer to the tables below for year-to-date information on local and statewide West Nile virus activity.

 

2012 GLACVCD       Cases*

Human Cases

85 (2*)

WNV+ Mosquito Samples

318

Dead Birds

70

Sentinel Chickens

26

Data as of 12/3/12

2012 California   Cases*

Human Cases

434 (16*)

WNV+ Mosquito Samples

2,848

Dead Birds

1,639

Sentinel Chickens

534

 Data as of 11/30/12

*Fatalities

 

Asian Tiger Mosquito Control and Eradication Efforts

Another important initiative the District dedicated its staff to this year involved intensely focused efforts in South El Monte to control and eradicate the Asian tiger mosquito, or Aedes albopictus. Isolating the infestation of this invasive species of mosquito and ensuring it does not move outside boundaries (of South El Monte and El Monte) where it has already been detected is critical in the fight against the mosquito establishing itself here permanently. The Asian tiger mosquito is particularly dangerous because it is capable of transmitting diseases such as  dengue, chikungunya, and a number of encephalitis viruses.
In its effort to eradicate the Asian tiger mosquito, the District has been working with the City of South El Monte, as well as the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District and the Orange County Vector Control District.  The District is also continuing its Metro Bus ad and door-to-door campaigns to maintain a heightened level of community awareness regarding prevention of mosquito breeding, and the need for residents to report sightings of the mosquito to the District.

 

District staff looks forward to protecting community health, comfort, and welfare in the New Year by continuing its integrated vector management approach in 2013!

Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation – You Can Make a Difference
 

The Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation is hosting a fundraising Spirit Night at Chik-fil-A in Long Beach December 15! A portion of proceeds (either 20% or 25%, depending upon total amount of sales) Chik-fil-A earns that day from supporters who present this flyer will be donated to the Foundation.

 

Event Information

 

December 15, 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Chik-fil-A

7681 Carson Boulevard

Long Beach, CA 90808

 

The flyer for this event can also be accessed by going to:

http://glacvcd.org/tuneup/uploads/docfiles/ChikfilA%20Fundraising%20Flyer.pdf

The Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation was founded in 2001 to advance the District’s elementary education program. At the time, the District received an $80,000 in-kind donation by way of a 35-foot recreational vehicle which was custom designed and retrofitted into a mobile science education laboratory. The VecMobile, also known as the Bug Bus, was the first of its kind in the nation to provide vector education and community outreach to inner-city youth in a mobile laboratory environment.

 

The VecMobile curriculum meets California Educational Standards and reaches over 5,000 students a year, offering an experiential setting where children learn about vectors, the diseases vectors carry, and ways people can help keep their families and neighborhoods safe from public health threats. Two education program coordinators travel with the VecMobile to public and private schools throughout the GLACVCD jurisdiction during each school year to provide this valuable interactive educational experience to students in the Greater Los Angeles area.

 

The Foundation is also seeking funds from donors and grants to aid in covering operational costs associated with providing this free health education program to children in our communities. If you or your organization would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation, please contact District Public Information Officer Cynthia Miller at (562) 944-9656, extension 511.

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