Another 26 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus in Los Angeles County this week, bringing the number of positive samples so far this year to 264, vector control officials reported Friday.
The mosquito samples were all taken from areas previously identified as positive for WNV according to the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District. The highest mosquito counts that tested positive this year were reported in: Encino and North Hollywood with 14 each, Valley Village with 13, Van Nuys and Pico Rivera with 12 each, and Studio City and Toluca Lake with 10 each.
The West Nile virus is endemic to Los Angeles County, and warm temperatures can increase virus activity and mosquito populations, according to GLACVC. As of October 2 that year, there were 93 human cases of WNV reported in California, of which 27 were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
“The warm autumn temperatures help the West Nile virus and mosquito season continue later in the year,” said Anais Medina Diaz, the district’s information officer. “Residents must continue to practice mosquito control in their homes by removing stagnant water and wearing insect repellant to protect themselves.”
One in five people infected with WNV who have no cure will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a rash. Symptoms can last for several days to months.
One in 150 people infected with the virus must be hospitalized. Serious symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, coma, paralysis, and possibly death. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
The residents are asked to:
- Apply a mosquito repellent with CDC and EPA approved agents DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil before going outside and reapply as recommended on the label.
- wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants;
- Close or repair any unshielded doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
- remove stagnant water in clogged gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, drinking troughs, or anything that holds water for more than a week;
- Change the water in pet bowls, bird baths, and other small containers weekly.
- ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained;
- Request mosquito fish from your local vector control district to be placed in ornamental ponds.
- Report neglected (green) swimming pools to the local vector control district.