LM _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ST. NORBERT OC

West Nile Virus Found In Mosquitos in Downey, Bellflower, Lakewood

WEST NILE CRITTERS are BACK in Southeast Los Angeles County.

WEST NILE CRITTERS are BACK in Southeast Los Angeles County.

By Randy Economy

Mosquitos infected with the deadly West Nile Virus have been found in Lakewood, Bell Gardens, Downey and Bellflower this past two weeks officials with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District confirmed to Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper on Wednesday.

GLACVCD confirmed WNV-positive test results for eight mosquito samples in eight Los Angeles County communities, and officials are warning residents to take precautionary steps in order to minimize the spread of the virus.

“This is the first sign of activity this year in all communities listed below except for Long Beach. So far this year, the District has reported a total of 25 positive mosquito samples and three dead birds. Please refer to the chart below for a breakdown of the latest West Nile virus activity,” a spokesperson with the GLACVCD told the newspaper.

In addition to the four cities in Southeast Los Angeles County that were confirmed with the infected incest, other positive tests were also located in the Lincoln Heights community, Long Beach, Northridge, and Reseda.

No infected mosquitos have been trapped in Cerritos, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens of Norwalk as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The threat of West Nile virus transmission increases as the weather gets warmer,” says Levy Sun, GLACVCD public information officer. “Unfortunately, West Nile virus is most likely present in every community in LA County. The best protection is to reduce this threat around your home.”

Residents can take precautions to protect themselves such as using insect repellent and removing dirty, stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. Some common breeding sources include buckets, birdbaths and plant saucers. In the right conditions, hundreds of mosquitoes can emerge from breeding sources as biting adults in as little as five days.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days, and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several weeks to months.

One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts because birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading the virus. Visit www.westnile.ca.gov to report dead birds.

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