The presence of West Nile virus in Los Angeles County continued to expand Friday, with officials confirming that 14 more mosquito samples have tested positive for the virus.
The new samples were found in 12 locations, including six that had not yet had any West Nile activity this year — Canoga Park, La Mirada, Long Beach, Paramount, Santa Fe Springs and Winnetka. Additional new samples were also found in Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Norwalk, Valley Village and Woodland Hills, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.
The district has now confirmed a total of 40 West Nile-positive mosquito samples this year.
Thus far, only one human case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in Los Angeles County, one of 26 such cases statewide.
Warm temperatures can increase virus activity and mosquito populations. There is no cure for the virus, which is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. About one in five people who become infected will exhibit symptoms, which can last from several days to months and include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, and one in 150 will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death.
GLACVCD encouraged residents to take an active role in reducing the WNV threat in their neighborhoods by:
— eliminating standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week;
— ensuring that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained;
— changing the water in pet dishes, bird baths and other small containers weekly;
— requesting mosquitofish from the local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds;
— wearing EPA-approved and CDC-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present;
— reporting neglected (green) swimming pools to the vector control district; and
— sharing this information with others to decrease mosquito populations.
Residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656, online at glacvcd.org, or on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.