|Los Angeles County, Calif. — Two samples of mosquitoes collected from the San Fernando Valley communities of Sherman Oaks and Porter Ranch tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) this week. Last week, the District reported the first positive mosquito sample of the year from Panorama City.
While the District is happy that West Nile virus activity is off to a bit of a slow start this year, there are many hot summer months ahead which will lead to increased mosquito reproduction and WNV amplification and transmission. “Last year, by the end of week 29, we already had 43 positive samples reported,” said Susanne Kluh, director of scientific technical services.
The District works year-round to actively search for and managing water-holding areas such as gutters, ditches, storm drain channels, basins, and non-functional pools and ponds, but there are many more mosquito breeding sites on private property that require the public’s attention.
Residents, business owners, and property managers must ensure no standing water is permitted on their property. Yard and parking lot drains, air conditioner drip pans/buckets, rain barrels, non-functional swimming pools, and other containers such as rain barrels, plant saucers, and old tires must be removed or sealed to prohibit mosquito access.
To prevent bites, and the risk of disease transmission, the District recommends EPA-registered repellents that have been shown to be both safe and effective when used according to label directions: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
About West Nile virus:
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus is a leading cause of severe infections of the nervous system among adults older than age 50 in Los Angeles County.
WNV is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for WNV. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms 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.
For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656 or online at www.glacvcd.org.