• West Nile Virus in the SGV


    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – At least four more dead birds found in the San
    Gabriel Valley and Cerritos areas tested positive for West Nile virus, vector-
    control officials said today.
    According to the Greater Los Angelec County Vector Control District, two
    birds were found in Cerritos. The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector
    Control District announced that dead crows found in Baldwin Park and Covina
    resulted in two West Nile-positive tests, while results were pending on a
    third.
    The Cerritos birds were the first found this year by the Greater Los
    Angeles County agency. A West Nile-positive crow found in West Covina was
    reported last month by the San Gabriel Valley agency.
    According to the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District,
    62 percent of dead birds reported to the state West Nile Virus hotline last
    week were from the San Gabriel Valley.
    “This is not good news,’ according to Kenn Fujioka, assistant manager
    of the district. “WNV activity is increasingly rapidly now that the weather
    has warmed. Residents must take an active role in addressing this public health
    problem.’
    Residents who see dead birds were urged to call (877) WNV-BIRD begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (877) WNV-BIRD end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or (877)
    968-2473.
    Mosquitoes obtain the virus by feeding on infected wild birds. Vector-
    control officials said neglected swimming pools are a major breeding ground for
    mosquitoes, and dramatically increase the risk of the disease being spread.
    West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected
    mosquito. The virus is not spread through person-to-person contact, or directly
    from birds to humans. In most cases, people who are infected with West Nile
    virus never become sick, or have only very mild symptoms that include fever,
    headache, nausea, body aches, and a mild skin rash.
    Symptoms of West Nile virus could appear within three to 12 days after
    infection. Fewer than one in 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito
    become severely ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
    Prevention (CDC).
    In these rare cases, the virus can cause encephalitis and death. The
    elderly are most at risk for severe cases of the disease. There is no specific
    treatment for West Nile virus. However, individuals with severe symptoms may be
    hospitalized.
    People can decrease their risk of infection by following these
    recommendations:
    — Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk.
    — Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
    — Use repellants containing DEET, picaridin or oil of eucalyptus.
    — Check your window screens for holes.
    — Do not allow water to collect and stagnate in old tires, flowerpots,
    swimming pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, or other containers, which are prime
    breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
    — Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; and drain water from pool covers.

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