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West Nile PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:08

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A second Los Angeles County resident died due to West Nile virus, health officials announced prompting heightened warnings for people to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Both victims were adults in their 80s who lived in the southeastern part of the county, according to the Department of Public Health. Health officials noted that people over 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for developing severe symptoms, which may require hospitalization.

"While most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to West Nile virus, some individuals may become infected with this disease and may experience symptoms that can last for months, or even years, such as fatigue, malaise and depression," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's top health official. Symptoms can appear within three to 12 days after infection and severe symptoms of meningitis and encephalitis can lead to hospitalization.

To date, 54 human cases of West Nile virus illness have been reported in the county, and vector control districts have detected the virus in 170 dead birds, five squirrels and 196 mosquito pools. Samples were found throughout the county, Fielding said.

Areas with high mosquito areas are being actively treated, but Fielding urged residents to report dead birds by calling (877) 968-2473 or at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov and stagnant pools to (626) 430-5200.

"As the hot days continue, I urge all residents to protect themselves and their family and friends from mosquito bites by getting rid of stagnant water around their homes, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors and using a repellant in mosquito-prone areas, especially around dawn or dusk," Fielding said.

More information can be found online at http://westnile.ca.gov.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 04:10