Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Human Cases of West Nile Virus in Los Angeles County Confirmed - 11th Aug 2011

The County Health Officer has confirmed two human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Los Angeles County. Both cases are middle-aged males who have pre-existing health conditions and were hospitalized. They are recovering.

Several agencies in Southern California, including the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD), have been cautioning residents that this year is a particularly active year for mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus. "People should take precautions to avoid mosquitoes, as that is the primary way this disease is transmitted. Mosquitoes obtain the virus by feeding on infected wild birds," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, director of Public Health and Health Officer.

"West Nile Virus can appear anywhere in Los Angeles County or around the state. We urge residents to get rid of pools of stagnant water around their homes, where mosquitoes breed. Use a repellant containing DEET, or another approved repellent, when outdoors in mosquito-prone areas, especially around dawn or dusk."

As of Aug. 5 in LA County, mosquito abatement districts have detected WNV in 45 dead birds and 115 mosquito samples. The samples were taken in various parts of Los Angeles County, demonstrating that the virus can affect any location.

"The level of West Nile Virus detected in mosquito samples and dead birds in Los Angeles County this July is the highest it has been since the last epidemic year in 2008," said Suzanne Kluh, Director of Scientific-Technical Services, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. Read More