Mosquitoes can transmit the viruses that cause West Nile fever. Photo by Noah Poritz, courtesy United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
Mosquitoes can transmit the viruses that cause West Nile fever. Photo by Noah Poritz, courtesy United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service

Long Beach health officials Wednesday confirmed the city’s first human case of West Nile virus this year, and they urged residents to take precautions to reduce mosquitoes and limit possible exposure.

Details about the patient weren’t released.

According to the city, there have been 78 human cases of West Nile reported in California, including 24 in Los Angeles County, four in San Diego County and one in Orange County. There have been two deaths in the state.

Symptoms of the virus — which is transmitted by mosquito bites — can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headaches, but many people who are infected may not show any symptoms. About one in 150 people could develop more serious problems, such as brain inflammation or paralysis, health officials said.

Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans the months of May to October. To reduce exposure to WNV, residents are urged to:

— eliminate standing water that can attract mosquitoes;

— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;

— wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity;

— use insect repellent;

— ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out; and

— get rid of standing water, aside from pools properly treated with chemicals.

–City News Service 

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