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No West Hollywood resident has been reported to have contracted either West Nile Fever or West Nile Neuroinvasive disease.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite.
Residents with chronic health issues especially are encouraged to take mosquito repellant measures to avoid contracting the mosquito-borne illness. Photo courtesy natureblog.com.
Mosquitoes become infected when they first feed on birds that carry the virus, and then bite a human or animal.
According to the Disease Control District, birds routinely travel many miles from their nighttime nesting locations to feed and scavenge in other areas during the day before they return to their root location in the evening.
Finding a dead, infected bird, therefore, “does not definitively identify a specific city, zip code, or location as the site where the actual mosquito bite and infection occurred because of their wide daily travel patterns.”
In other words, the mosquito that initially infected the bird could be anywhere within a dozen square miles, although the bird may have been bitten by a local mosquito before dying.
The Disease Control District said that positive results for categories “Sentinel Flock Chickens,“ “Trapped Adult Mosquitoes,” or “Squirrels,” are more specific with respect to the actual infection site.
Residents can protect themselves from WNV by doing the following:
DEET- Apply insect repellent according to the label. Repellents containing DEET, picaradin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the longest lasting and most effective. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you.
DAWN AND DUSK- Mosquitoes that carry WNV primarily bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent at this time
MOSQUITO PROOF YOUR HOME- Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
DRAIN- Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained. If you have an ornamental pond, use mosquito fish. You can make arrangements to pick up free mosquito fish at the District by calling 310-915-7370.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts.
Dead birds should be reported to the toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD (877-968-2473).
Symptoms of West Nile virus:
People infected with WNV can experience a variety of symptoms. Symptoms usually occur 2-15 days after infection.
Symptoms of West Nile Fever can include:
• Headaches (often severe migraines)
• High fever
• Tiredness and body aches
• Occasionally, a skin rash and swollen lymph glands
These symptoms may last from several days to several weeks.
Symptoms of West Nile Neuroinvasive disease can include:
• Severe Headache
• High Fever
• Stiff neck
• Tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness
• Coma: This form of the disease can lead to long lasting and permanent damage to the brain.
For mosquito problems or to pick up mosquito fish, call (310) 915-7370 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
If you have any questions, please contact Robert Saviskas, Executive Director, at (310) 915-7370 ext. 223 or at email@example.com.
For additional information about the Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District and West Nile virus, please visit the District’s website at: www.lawestvector.org. WNV results are updated on a weekly basis.