Public Health Officials Urge Residents to Take Precautions Against
West Nile Virus After Announcement of First Human Case in Long Beach
The first human case of West Nile Virus this year in Long Beach has been confirmed. After a brief hospitalization, a resident in his or her 60's, who had underlying health issues, is recovering at home in the eastern part of Long Beach.
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WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache.
Most people infected have no symptoms; about one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.
With the detection of WNV and the hot summer weather creating an ideal environment for mosquito breeding, Long Beach Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, encourages all residents to protect themselves from WNV by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, bird baths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow repellant instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of two.
- Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
- Maintain all swimming pools in a clean and sanitary manner, with all circulation and filtration equipment operational and chemical levels within recommended guidelines; drain water from pool covers.
- Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers. Do not over water plants or lawns to avoid creating pools of standing water.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.