The first West Nile virus case reported in LA County in 2021

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The first human case of West Nile virus infection in Los Angeles County for the year has been reported, health officials said on Tuesday.

The patient, who has only been described as a South Bay resident, was hospitalized with West Nile virus fever in late July and is recovering, the LA County Public Health Department said in a statement from hurry.

“We all need to take action to prevent West Nile virus infections. Spread by mosquitoes, this virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the continental United States. There are no preventable vaccines or drugs to treat WNV in humans, ”county health official Muntu Davis said in a written statement.

Humans contract the virus from the bite of an infected mosquito. Although not all mosquitoes carry the virus, the type of mosquito that spreads this virus is found throughout Los Angeles County.

Symptoms of West Nile virus may include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, and a mild rash.

But in people over 50 and those with chronic illnesses, severe infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death, the ministry said. Health.

In Los Angeles County, an average of 118 cases per year have been documented over the past five years. Officials said the total number of people infected with the virus each year, locally, is much higher because most of those infected do not have any illness or only suffer from mild illness.

“About three-quarters of reported cases have had serious illness and about 9% of patients with severe WNV die from complications,” Davis said.

LA County Public Health recommends the following measures to reduce the risk of West Nile virus infection:

  • Avoid areas infested with mosquitoes at dawn and dusk.
  • Use insect repellant. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, lemon eucalyptus oil (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2 -undecanone. When used according to directions, EPA registered insect repellents have been shown to be safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Find the insect repellent that’s right for you using the EPA’s search tool.
  • Cover. Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outdoors, especially at those times and in areas where more mosquitoes are present.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.
  • Use screens on windows and doors. Check and repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn, cover or discard items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pet bowls, flowerpot saucers, rain barrels or other containers. This is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
  • Empty and wash birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; drain any water that has accumulated on the pool covers.
  • Stock garden ponds with mosquitoes (Gambusia affinis), goldfish, koi carp, or other mosquito-eating fish. These feed on mosquito eggs and larvae.

Anyone who sees stagnant pools or “green pools” can report them to the Office of Public and Environmental Health at 626-430-5200, or a local vector control agency. Dead birds can be reported by calling 877-968-2473 or online at westnile.ca.gov/report.php.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/westnile, and to find a local vector control district, visit socalmosquito.org.


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