Downey mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

DOWNEY - A mosquito sample collected in Downey has tested positive for West Nile virus, prompting warnings to residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Officials with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District didn't say where the mosquito was collected, only that it came from the 90241 zip code.

Mosquitoes from Pico Rivera, Norwalk, South Gate and Montebello also tested positive for the virus.

"The widespread increase in West Nile virus activity this week is a reminder that the summer mosquito breeding season is here and residents need to take measures to protect against mosquito bites and disease transmission," said Truc Dever, director of community affairs for the vector control district.

Vector authorities recommended following the "Three D's":

Dump/Drain: Eliminate or report standing water on your property because that's where mosquitoes breed.

Dusk/Dawn: Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.

Defend: If you are outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure.

One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash. Symptoms can last for several weeks and months.

One in 150 infected people will require hospitalization. In extreme cases, West Nile virus can result in coma, paralysis and even death.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts. Dead birds can be reported by calling (877) WNV-BIRD or online at