Mosquitos with West Nile Virus plague San Fernando Valley

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LOS ANGELES, CA – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found across Los Angeles County, and authorities confirmed an additional 26 positive samples on Friday.

So far, it is known that 27 people in Los Angeles County have contracted the virus this year. While most people are asymptomatic, in rare cases the virus can be fatal. A total of 264 positive samples have been found in mosquitoes across the county so far this year, vector control officials reported on Friday.

The San Fernando Valley continues to be a vector mosquito hotspot, according to the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District. The number of infected groups of mosquitoes includes 14 in Encino and North Hollywood, 13 in Valley Village, 12 in Van Nuys, Pico Rivera, 10 in Studio City and Toluca Lake.

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 cases of WNV people reported in California.

“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 clearing stagnant water and wearing insect repellants 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 those with weakened immune systems are among the most vulnerable.

  • Apply a mosquito repellent with CDC and EPA approved agents DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil before going outdoors 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.
  • Eliminate 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 a 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.

City News Service and Patch Staffer contributed to this report.

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