District vector ecologists last week confirmed 15 additional West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquito samples and eight WNV-positive dead birds in the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District area, including findings in Cerritos and Artesia.
Two positive mosquito samples were found in Cerritos, while one dead American Crow infected with the virus was discovered in Artesia, according to vector control officials.
"Mosquitoes and birds are important indicators for West Nile virus," said district Public Information Officer Cynthia Miller. "West Nile virus is generally transmitted between infected birds and blood feeding mosquitoes. When there is a high number of West Nile virus-positive birds and mosquitoes in an area, residents may be at greater risk of infection if bitten by a mosquito.
Residents are encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control by calling 1-877-WNV BIRD or visiting www.westnile.ca.gov.
This year alone, GLACVCD has identified a total of 200 WNV-positive mosquito samples, 53 WNV-positive dead birds, and four sentinel chickens within its jurisdiction. Statewide, a total of 2,417 mosquito samples,1,365 dead birds, and 389 sentinel chickens have been identified as WNV-positive.
West Nile Virus Prevention
The best way to prevent West Nile virus or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- While outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, and repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Empty standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets, kiddie pools, and birdbaths.
What You Need to Know When it Comes to the West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, or rash. Less than one percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die.
For more information, please contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562)944-9656 or visit www.glacvcd.org.