Health Officials Offer Residents Precautionary Tips For Limiting Exposure to Mosquitoes

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tips for avoiding mosquitoesCity of Long Beach Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, is urging residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes during the pending Labor Day weekend and during the ensuing weeks until temperatures begin to drop. While outside celebrating the unofficial end of the summer season with backyard barbecues and trips to campgrounds, parks and beaches, remember that the warmer weather creates an ideal environment for some uninvited guests – mosquitoes.

West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Human cases of WNV have been reported in nearby Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Although no human cases have been detected in Long Beach this season, a WNV infected bird was recently detected in central Long Beach. Additionally, there has been significant WNV activity recently in the mid-west.

Avoiding mosquitoes can reduce the risk of exposure to WNV and other mosquito borne diseases. Long Beach health officials are advising residents to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk.
  • Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of 2.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers.
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.

Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird or online at www.westnile.ca.gov .

For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Vector Control Program at 562.570.4132 or online at www.longbeach.gov/health and click on “West Nile Virus.” Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lbwnv.

Further information about the WNV may be obtained at the State of California Department of Health Services website at www.westnile.ca.gov, or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.

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