LA County Reports Year's First 2 Cases of West Nile Virus

Henrietta Brewer
August 7, 2019

Two individuals in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus, in what officers say are the first two cases within the county this year.

There has also been an increase in cases in the north, the announcement said.

The West Nile virus, which was introduced to California in 2003, is commonly transmitted to mosquitoes when they feed on infected birds. As per the Dr. Muntu Davis statement mosquito bites are not just annoying; they make people's sick.

The virus spreads through mosquitos that are infected by feeding on birds that carry the virus.

West Nile virus kills Californians every year. Precautions include: using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors and eliminating areas of standing water which support mosquito breeding.

Symptoms of the virus include fever and head and body aches. Young children, older individuals or others with vulnerable immune systems have higher risks of severe symptoms.

"When outdoors, dress to cover your skin and try to avoid times when mosquitos are most active, such as during dusk through dawn".

Officials recommend residents use mosquito repellent that includes DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors.

If the standing water can not be drained, a larvicide should be used.

Eleven Utahns contracted the virus a year ago, with one of them dying from it, according to the Utah Department of Health.

There have been no known human infections detected in Cascade County this year, according to a press release. More than three-quarters of reported cases have had severe disease and approximately 7% of patients with severe WNV have died from complications. This year the virus has infected many birds across LA, San Diego, Sacramento, Merced and other countries in the US. Reduction of mosquito breeding sources and protection from mosquito bites are the best ways to prevent WNV infection.

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