The first two cases of people infected with West Nile virus in Los Angeles County for the 2020 season have been identified this month, public health officials announced Thursday.
While LA County confirmed its first positive test on a mosquito in early June, it was reported that two residents of the San Fernando Valley region had the virus, according to the county’s public health department. One case is an “older adult” with no underlying disease who was hospitalized with neuroinvasive disease in early July and is recovering, and the second case was detected in late July in a healthy blood donor, the positive blood units were discarded, officials said. .
The case count excludes Long Beach and Pasadena, as local health departments report cases identified in those cities.
“The West Nile virus remains a serious threat to the health of Los Angeles County residents. We advise residents to cover, clean or dispose of items that may contain water and raise mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors. “This is important now that more than ever, as we spend most of our time at home,”; said Muntu Davis, LA County Health Officer.
The mosquito season in the county begins in June and ends in November. It is estimated that the number of people infected with West Nile across the county is more than 10,000, but most people do not recognize that they have it as their symptoms can be mild.
“We are now in high season for mosquitoes in Los Angeles County and residents should also protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products,” Davis said.
West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes were found in three cities in Orange County earlier this month. The number of mosquitoes this year is nearly five times higher than last year and doubles the average of five years of OC, officials said in June.
According to the departments, humans receive the virus by biting an infected mosquito. But most mosquitoes do not carry the virus.
Those who suffer from West Nile virus may experience mild symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. In some cases, especially in people over 50, and in people with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, a severe infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord.
According to the public health department, there is no specific treatment for the disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.
More than a quarter of cases reported in LA County have been serious, and approximately 7% of patients have died from complications.
The county public health department recommends taking the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to blood-sucking insects:
- PROTECT YOURSELF: Mosquito repellents can keep mosquitoes from biting you. EPA-registered repellents containing DEET, picaridine, IR3535, 2-undecanone, and lemon eucalyptus oil are the most durable and effective. They are available in spray, wipes and lotions. Here is the repellent that suits you. Consider wearing long-sleeved clothing and pants when you’re away.
- MOSQUITO TEST AT THE BEGINNING: Make sure doors and windows have tight screens to protect against mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- REDUCE MOSQUITOES: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stationary water. Check for items that contain water in and out of the house once a week. Cover water storage containers such as rain buckets and barrels. If no cover is available, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. Clean standing water in pots, saucers, bird banquets and other containers. Clean and maintain swimming pools, spas and drain water from pool decks.
Waterproof pools or “green pools” should be reported to the Office of Public Health Environmental Health at 626-430-5200 or at http: // www. westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php. Call 211 or visit socalmosquito.org to report persistent problems in the mosquito control district.
If you have questions about mosquitoes, call the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656.
Suggest a correction