DOWNEY – West Nile virus activity continues to increase in Los Angeles County, with 61 positive mosquito and five dead birds testing positive for the virus. Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Downey, Norwalk, La Mirada and other local communities.
“Mosquitoes aren’t just mere annoyances,” said Levy Sun, the vector control agency’s public information officer. “It takes only a bite from one mosquito infected with West Nile virus to change your life.”
Residents should remove dirty, stagnant water from containers where mosquitoes breed. Some common breeding sources include buckets, birdbaths and plant saucers.
In the right conditions, hundreds of mosquitoes can emerge from breeding sources as biting adults in as little as five days.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for the virus.
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 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 death.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control effects. Dead birds can be reported online at westnile.ca.gov.
Published: Aug. 14, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 18