First Human Case of West Nile Virus Reported in LA County

A San Gabriel Valley resident was hospitalized in May with the disease which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

Severe illnesses resulting from the West Nile virus may affect people of any age, although people over 60 years old, those who have cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and those who have previously received organ transplants are more at risk. Most individuals who are infected with the virus will not experience any illness.

"By working together with the community, we will continue to reduce the risk of West Nile virus and keep our community safe and healthy".

In Riverside County, 33 human infections were documented in 2017, and 10 in 2016.

Dr. John Lindbergh explains, "In this area if you have a encephalitis, either the Japanese encephalitis or the West Nile virus". People also can call the department's West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

As far as spraying or putting bug nets out, the park districts in the area aren't required to do so, but the Kankakee County Health Department will be going out all summer and into the fall, to trap pools of mosquitoes to test them for West Nile virus. "Kern residents should take precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as this is the most risky time of year for mosquito-borne illness". Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present. Those symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes.

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"The announcement of the first human case of West Nile virus in San Gabriel Valley should serve as a reminder to residents to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding on their property".

Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk, and wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing outside.

Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.

One to two teaspoons of water can become a mosquito breeding ground, and they can form in a variety of locations including flower pots, boats, pool covers, bird baths, rain gutters and pet's water bowls.

Check your window screens for holes. "The mosquito that can transmit Zika really doesn't breed in those larger swampy conditions".

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