Long Beach Residents Continue to Suffer Effects of West Nile Virus

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West Nile Virus - Mosquito

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services reminds residents that West Nile Virus continues to be a problem in Southern California. As of Monday, September 15, 2014, there have been 17 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Long Beach, including one death. This is a significant increase from 2013, in which there were seven cases reported the entire year. These numbers are consistent with the rest of California, as so far this year 238 human cases have been reported in 26 different counties across the state. The California Department of Public Health is calling this the highest level of infected mosquitoes ever detected. More cases are expected, as this is the time of year when the risk of infection is at its highest.

The Health Department’s Vector Control Program takes measures to protect the public from illnesses that are transmitted to humans. Eliminating mosquito breeding sources plays an important role in reducing the risk of mosquito-borne disease. Vector Control staff are monitoring potential breeding sites such as ditches, canals, ponds, and neighborhood gutters for mosquito activity and treating those sources. The City works closely with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and the Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District to limit mosquito breeding in and around the Long Beach area.

Additionally, staff are providing residents with information on steps they can take to help reduce the risk of contracting West Nile Virus. Residents can partner with the Department by:

  • Eliminating stagnant and standing water on their properties – remember that piles of debris, drip plates under potted plants, buckets, barrels, fountains, ponds, toys, and tires are some common sources of standing water.
  • Reporting green pools (swimming pools or spas that are not properly maintained and appear green due to algae growth or poor maintenance) to the Health Department at 562.570.4132.

Residents can take precautions to protect themselves and their family members by following the 5 Ds:

  1. DEET-use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow instructions on label.
  2. Dress-where long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  3. Drain-drain stagnant water from around the house, bird baths, pet food, fountains, children’s pools, old tires, etc…. Swimming pools should be maintained to avoid mosquito breeding.
  4. Doors-screen all doors and windows to exclude mosquitoes.
  5. Dead Birds-report dead birds to the State’s dead-bird hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Health Department’s website at www.longbeach.gov/health and go to the West Nile Virus Information Page, or call our Vector Control Program at 562.570.4132.

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