West Nile virus found in dead bird

DOWNEY - A dead bird collected in Downey has tested positive for the West Nile virus, county vector officials announced Tuesday.Officials did not say where the bird was found, other than it came from the 90241 zip code. A total of 21 birds with West Nile virus has been confirmed in Los Angeles County. "This data indicates that Los Angeles County is, again, the center of virus activity for Southern California," the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District said in a statement. "With another busy season, the District is on high alert and anticipates elevated virus activity throughout the rest of this summer." Officials advised residents to guard against the virus by "taking an active role in mosquito prevention." Residents should eliminate standing water in rain gutters, buckets and swimming pools; change the water in pet dishes often; wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors at dusk or dawn; keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes; and wear mosquito repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Residents can also request free mosquito-eating fish from the Vector Control District for out-of-order swimming pools and spas. Mosquito activity at vacant or foreclosed homes and swimming pools should also be reported. For more information on mosquito prevention, or to report a dead bird in your neighborhood, call the state Department of Public Health at (877) WNV-BIRD or go online to www.westnile.ca.gov.

********** Published: July 17, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 13