Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Human Cases of West Nile Virus Confirmed in LA County

Image courtesy Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District Image courtesy Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Gustavo Carr | 07 August, 2019, 15:48

Two dead birds that tested positive for West Nile virus were recently found in Huntington Beach, but there have been no confirmed human cases in the county so far this year, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

"We are glad to hear that these two people are recovering from their West Nile Fever infections and wish them well", L.A. County health officer Muntu Davis said in a statement.

The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. Infected Culex mosquitoes (pictured above) spread the disease.

"Right now we don't have any mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile in the province". While there's no vaccine or medical treatment for the disease, only about one in five who get infected actually develop symptoms-fever, headaches, and other body aches. "So, everyone should take protective action by using mosquito repellent when outdoors and getting rid of items in their homes or yards that collect standing water where mosquitoes can breed", he said. Last year, 11 individuals within the state died of West Nile, and 44 within the earlier year.

People over 50 years of age and those with chronic health problems are at higher risk of severe illness.

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

The number of people infected with WNV each year in LA County is estimated to be more than 10,000, because most infected persons do not experience any illness or perhaps only mild illness.

DEET-Apply repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET, and follow the directions on the package.

Nationally through August 6, 128 total human WNV cases have been reported, including four deaths. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. "It is critical that residents take the necessary steps to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sources and prevent mosquito bites".