LOS ANGELES – Today the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) hosted a press conference to update on the Zika virus disease and the interagency work being done to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitos.
To date, there has been no mosquito-borne Zika infection transmitted in Los Angeles County and currently the risk of local transmission is low. However, the Aedes mosquitos, the species of mosquito that can transmit Zika, are present in the San Gabriel Valley and in the Eastern part of the county. At this time, there is no known evidence these mosquitos carry the Zika virus.
“Our concern is with pregnant women becoming infected. We suggest they avoid traveling to areas where the outbreak is ongoing, but if travel is necessary they should talk with their health care provider and follow precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. " All residents in the County should take strong actions to look around their homes and communities, to identify locations where Aedes mosquitos may breed and eliminate those sites.”
Individuals can prevent infection by wearing long sleeved shirts and pants, using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, treating clothing and gear with permethrin, and staying and sleeping in screened- in or air-conditioned rooms. In addition, individuals can take simple precautions for mosquito control around their homes.
“People can reduce the spread of Aedes mosquitos by eliminating sites around their homes where mosquitos may breed by getting rid of containers and any other sites where water may collect,” said Truc Dever, General Manager at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. “Cover trashcans, toys and recycle bins, and keep unneeded items out of the rain. Also remember to wear insect repellent containing DEET.”
For more information on the Zika virus visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/VectorZika.htm. It includes a Questions and Answers document, a poster with information for travelers, and links to information from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.