West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed 18 cases of West Nile infections to date. West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes.

West Nile Virus is primarily spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, which can become infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus and most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to the virus. The virus is not transmitted from person-to-person contact or directly from birds to humans.

Earlier this year, I authored legislation to raise awareness about this West Nile Virus. Please take these precautionary measures to decrease the risk of an infection:

  • Drain all standing water around your property. Do not allow water to collect and stagnate in old tires, flowerpots, swimming pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, or other containers. These are prime breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
  • Keep swimming pools operating properly; drain water from pool covers.
  • Stock garden ponds with goldfish or other mosquito-eating fish. These eat mosquito eggs and larvae.
  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk. They are especially active for two hours after sunset.
  • When outside, wear light-colored protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and socks.
  • Apply repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, para-menthane-diol, or oil of eucalyptus according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.

For more information on West Nile Virus:
Please call 1-800-232-4636 or visit the web at http://westnile.ca.gov/.
Dead birds may be reported by calling 1-877-968-2473 or on the web at http://westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php.
Stagnant swimming pools or “green pools” should be reported to the Public Health Environmental Health Bureau at 1888-700-9995 or to a local vector control agency.