The first two cases of people infected with the West Nile virus in 2020 were identified this month. For the season in Los Angeles County, public health officials announced Thursday.
Although LA County confirmed its first positive mosquito test in early June, two residents of the San Fernando Valley region are currently reported to have the virus, the county Department of Public Health reports. One case involves an ‘older adult’ without the underlying disease who was diagnosed with neuroinvasive disease in early July and recovering. A second case was identified in late July for a healthy blood donor whose positive blood units were discarded, officials said. .
The number of cases does not include Long Beach and Pasadena, as cases identified in those cities are reported by their local health departments.
“The West Nile virus continues to pose a serious threat to the health of the Los Angeles County population. We encourage residents to cover, clean or get rid of items that trap water and breed mosquitoes both inside and outside your home. This is more important than ever because we spend most of our time at home, ”said Muntu Davis, LA District Health Officer.
The mosquito season in the county begins in June and ends in November. It is estimated that the number of people infected in the West Nile exceeds 10,000 each year, but most people do not admit to having the disease because their symptoms can be mild.
“Los Angeles County currently has its peak mosquito season, and residents should also protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases with EPA-registered mosquito repellent products,” Davis said.
Earlier this month, mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus were found in three cities in Orange County. This year, the number of mosquitoes is nearly five times higher than last year and double the OC’s five-year average, officials said in June.
According to the department, people become infected through the bite of an infected mosquito. However, most mosquitoes do not carry the virus.
Those infected with West Nile virus can experience mild symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. In some cases, especially in people over the age of 50 and those with chronic health conditions such as cancer and diabetes, severe infections can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord.
According to the Department of Public Health, there is no specific treatment for the disease and no vaccines to prevent infection.
The department reported that more than three-quarters of the cases reported in LA County were severe and about 7% of patients died from complications.
The county public health department recommends the following measures to reduce the risk of blood-thirsty insects:
- CAUTION: Mosquito repellents can protect mosquitoes from your bite. EPA-registered repellents containing DEET, picaridine, IR3535, 2-undecanone, and lemon eucalyptus oil are the longest-lasting and most effective. They are supplied as sprays, wipes and lotions. Find the right repellent for you here. Consider wearing long-sleeved clothes and pants when you’re outdoors.
- MOSQUITO Secure your home: make sure your doors and windows have airtight screens to protect against mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with scratches or holes.
- REDUCE MICSKITO: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Once a week, check for items that trap water in your home and outside. Cover water storage containers such as buckets and rain drums. If there is no cap, use a wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. Clear water in flower pots, plates, bird baths and other containers. Clean and maintain the pools, spa and drain the water from the pool covers.
Fixed pools or “green pools” should be reported to the Public Health Environmental Health Office at 626-430-5200 or at http: // www. Westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php. Call 211 or visit socalmosquito.org and report persistent problems in your mosquito control area.
If you have questions about mosquitoes, call the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656.
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