LOS ANGELES—Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) will conduct door-to-door outreach in the city of Bell to inform residents about increases in cases of West Nile virus and the continued risk of Zika virus. The outreach event is part of a countywide public health campaign entitled It’s Not Just A Bite to promote actions people can take to protect themselves and their communities from mosquito-borne diseases.
This week, 21 new cases of West Nile virus were documented in LA County, including four deaths. The disease and death rates for West Nile virus are higher this year than those for 2016, with a total of 208 cases including 16 people have died from West Nile virus related illness. Since 2015, Public Health has identified 119 total cases of Zika virus infection, including 13 cases this year, among people traveling to areas with Zika virus. To date, no Zika virus infections have been acquired locally in LA County. However, the mosquito that can carry and spread Zika is present in many areas of the county posing a risk that infection could occur here.
“We must all do our part to stop mosquitoes from infesting your yard and prevent mosquito bites in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy,” Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District, Los Angeles County. “Residents will learn steps that we all can take to really make a difference to prevent diseases like West Nile virus and Zika.”
“Since we are currently in the peak of mosquito season, we are working together with our cities, the vector control districts and regional partners to inform people about the risk of diseases from mosquitoes,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “You can decrease the risk of mosquito-borne diseases by regularly using mosquito repellents containing EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outdoors.”
“I am encouraged by the participation of Bell residents who are taking action to protect themselves and their neighbors,” said Mayor Fidencio Joel Gallardo, City of Bell. “Today, the residents of Bell came together to clean up their yards and neighborhoods to get rid of mosquitoes and reduce the spread of diseases, like West Nile virus.” The door-to-door outreach event coincided with the Mayor’s Clean-up Day where residents remove trash and debris throughout the city. For more information on West Nile virus and Zika, visit http://bit.ly/NotJustAB ite.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 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. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.