West Nile Virus Detected in Long Beach Area Mosquitoes

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west nile virus found in long beachLong Beach Public Health Officials have identified mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in the central area of the city, near Chittick Field. Vector Control Program is setting additional mosquito traps in the area and has posted warning signs surrounding Chittick Field.

Long Beach Vector Control will continue to treat mosquito-breeding locations in the area on a weekly basis.

Although no human West Nile Virus infections have been detected in Long Beach in 2010, Los Angeles and Orange counties have both tested positive WNV activity in birds and mosquitoes and there have been human cases of WNV in northern California.

Detecting West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus 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.  Last year, there were 112 human cases of WNV in California, including four deaths.

Long Beach Urged to Protect Against West Nile Virus

Hot summer weather creates an ideal environment for mosquito breeding. Long Beach Public Health Officials are urging residents to protect themselves and their families from the virus by taking 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 from 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 at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.  Residents should follow repellant 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.
  • Maintain all swimming pools in a clean and sanitary manner, with all circulation and filtration equipment operational and chemical levels within recommended guidelines; 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.  Do not over water plants or lawns to avoid creating pools of standing water.

Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov. For further information, contact the City of Long Beach DHHS, Vector Control Program at 562.570.4132 or online at www.longbeach.gov/health/wnv_info/resource.asp.

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