First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Long Beach 2012; Residents Urged to Take Precautions

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west nile virus found in long beachThe first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) this year in Long Beach has been confirmed. The young man, who is at home and recovering from the affects of WNV, resides in the East area of Long Beach. He is the first confirmed human case in the Long Beach since 2009. As of September 14, 2012, 114 human cases have been reported in 23 California counties, including 12 in Los Angeles and 5 in Orange counties.

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 from WNV 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 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 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 two.
  • 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 Health Services by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at

For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Health Department’s Vector Control Program at 5625570.4132 or online at Further information about the WNV may be obtained at the State of California Department of Health Services website at, or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at .

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