[Vector Control] – High West Nile virus infection rates in mosquitoes in the San Fernando Valley are prompting the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) to conduct more door-to-door neighborhood awareness campaigns this summer. On Thursday, August 22, district staff will be informing residents in the Valley Glen community of the San Fernando Valley of the West Nile virus threat in their area. The campaign will be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and seeks to raise awareness and expand control and surveillance operations in residential neighborhoods in order to safeguard residents against mosquito bites and virus transmission. Property inspections will be conducted at the request of the resident, and information brochures and bilingual doorhangers will be distributed.
To date, six mosquito samples collected from surveillance traps in Valley Glen have tested positive for WNV this year. High WNV activity in the mosquito population increases the risk of disease transmission to humans.
“Mosquito infection rates are unusually high in this area,” says Susanne Kluh, GLACVCD Director of Scientific-Technical Services. “Our surveillance data indicates that approximately 52 out of every 1,000 mosquitoes are infected with West Nile virus.” The door-to-door campaign allows staff to investigate these high infection rates and work with the public to eliminate potential breeding sources on residential properties.
The areas in Valley Glen targeted for this door-to-door campaign were selected based on mosquito surveillance data and can be viewed on the interactive Google map at the following link: http://goo.gl/maps/NScI6.
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District would like to remind the public that West Nile virus is endemic to Southern California. Virus activity has been prevalent all throughout Los Angeles County, so residents everywhere should protect themselves from mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding in their yards.
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.
For more information, please contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.glacvcd.org. For media inquiries, please contact GLACVCD Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever at (562) 244-2648. 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.