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GLACVCD Confirms First West Nile Virus Positive Mosquito Sample in District for 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 21 June 2012 03:18

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) is gearing up for another busy summer as it confirms its first West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquito sample for the year. The sample of mosquitoes was collected in Encino (zip code 91316).

Statewide, there have been 91 positive mosquito samples identified across six counties.

This is a dramatic increase from the five samples confirmed statewide at this time last year.

"This is a reminder that West Nile virus continues to be a problem here in Los Angeles County," says Susanne Kluh, Director of Scientific-Technical Services for the District. "We can anticipate more activity as the season progresses." Kluh urges residents to take a proactive role in preventing mosquito breeding in their neighborhoods.

Any water left standing for more than one week in outdoor containers such as flower pots, fountains and pet dishes provides the perfect breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Even the smallest amount of water accumulating on backyard trash can create a public health risk.

To take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV, residents can following these simple 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 FREE mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in out-of-order swimming pools, spas, and ponds

• Report mosquito activity near vacant or foreclosed properties

• Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood In addition to properly maintaining yards and properties, residents should make mosquito bite prevention a priority this summer. Use insect repellents containing the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 before going outdoors.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. One in five people infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Those symptoms usually occur between 5 and 15 days from infection and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and even death.

GLACVCD recommends consulting a physician if any of these symptoms occur following a mosquito bite. People at highest risk for severe cases of West Nile virus are the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts as birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading the virus. To contact the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), call their toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD or visit them online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

For more information or to report a mosquito problem, contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.glacvcd.org.

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