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

Vector-control officials Monday confirmed the West Nile virus-positive batch of mosquitoes in Los Angeles County this year.

The mosquitoes were collected in a trap in Sun Valley. Officials with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District warned residents that the mosquitoes are active and capable of spreading the infection to people.

“This is a reminder that the mosquito season isn’t just limited to summer,” according to Kelly Middleton, community affairs director for the district.

Mosquitoes typically become carriers of the virus after feeding on an infected bird and can then spread the potentially lethal strain to animals and humans.

Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms may never materialize, but can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

To reduce exposure to West Nile virus, residents are urged to:

— 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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