County health officials said three additional mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus, including single samples collected in two new East county areas: Boyle Heights and Whittier.

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District said the virus was detected in Boyle Heights and Whittier on Sept. 6.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is endemic in Los Angeles County, and the summer heat can increase virus activity and mosquito populations. 

So far this year, 62 West Nile virus human cases have been reported in California, four of which were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

The GLACVCD says mosquito control is a shared responsibility and residents must take an active role in reducing the threat of West Nile virus in their neighborhoods by taking the following 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 mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
  • Wear EPA-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.
  • Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.

For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656 or online at www.glacvcd.org.

Photo above from Creative Commons user DocJ96.

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