Long Beach Confirms First Human Case of West Nile Virus this Year

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West Nile Virus - Mosquito

With the hot summer weather creating an ideal environment for mosquito breeding, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, City Health Officer, encourages all residents to protect themselves against West Nile Virus.

The first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Long Beach has been confirmed for 2013. After a brief hospitalization, a resident in their 60’s, who had underlying health issues, is recovering at home in the East part of Long Beach.

As of September 10, 2013, 117 human cases have been reported in 23 California counties, including Los Angeles County (66). There have been six WNV-related deaths this year in California.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.

With the detection of WNV and the hot summer weather creating an ideal environment for mosquito breeding, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, City Health Officer, encourages all residents to protect themselves. Long Beach residents should take precautions to protect themselves and neighbors from the virus:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquitoes 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 interrupts 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 prevent run off to gutters and around sprinklers.

Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird. Contact the City of Long Beach Health Department, Vector Control Program, at 562.570.4132 or online at www.longbeach.gov/health and click on “West Nile Virus.”

More information about West Nile Virus may also be obtained at the California Department of Public Health 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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