Six instances have been found since late July, according to Los Angeles County health officials, who have confirmed the county’s first human cases of West Nile virus this year. The patients’ identities were not made public on Thursday, but the Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel Valley areas where the victims are believed to reside, according to the county Department of Public Health.
According to the county, all of the individuals who were hospitalized in late July and early August are making a full recovery. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis stated in a statement that “mosquitoes flourish in hot weather and residents should take simple precautions to limit their risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus.”
“Simple precautions, such as using insect repellent on yourself and your family and draining any standing water around your home, can help to decrease mosquitoes and mosquito bites. By adopting preventative measures today, residents can better safeguard themselves from infection and the dangerous neuroinvasive condition caused by this virus, which can result in hospitalization or death.
As of last Friday, the state reported that 18 human cases of the West Nile virus had been identified in California. One of those instances was located in Pasadena, which has a distinct health department from the county. Earlier this month, Orange County made a human case announcement.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the West Nile virus season normally lasts from the summer into the fall. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected after feeding on an infected bird. The majority of those infected with the virus do not have any symptoms, but the CDC estimates that 1 in 5 of those infected experience fever and other symptoms.
According to CDC data, 1 in 150 infected individuals acquires a serious, occasionally deadly, illness. Health authorities advise individuals to apply insect repellent because there is no human vaccine or treatment for the West Nile virus. When used as directed on the label, the CDC recommends products with the active chemicals DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus as being safe and effective against mosquitoes that can spread diseases.
Other actions that locals should take are:
• Eliminating standing water in anything that has been holding water for more than a week, including clogged gutters, rain barrels, old tires, buckets, and watering troughs.
- — Making sure that ponds, spas, and swimming pools are properly maintained
- — Weekly water changes should be made in pet dishes, birdbaths, and other small containers.
- — Asking your neighborhood vector control department for mosquitofish to be placed in ornamental ponds