For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2012 has been reported in the county. The middle-aged adult, who lives in the San Gabriel Valley, was hospitalized for a short time earlier this month and has other chronic health conditions not related to WNV. The patient is now home and expected to recover. West Nile virus is passed to people through the bite of an infected mosquito; mosquitoes obtain the virus by feeding on infected wild birds. The Los Angeles County Health Officer would like to remind all residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.
"While most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to West Nile virus, some individuals may become infected with this disease and may experience symptoms that can last for months, or even years, such as fatigue, malaise, and depression," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "I urge all residents to protect themselves and their family and friends from mosquito bites by getting rid of stagnant water around their homes; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors; and using a repellant when in mosquito-prone areas, especially around dawn or dusk."
As of today, vector control districts have detected WNV in 16 dead birds in LA County. The samples were taken in various parts of Los Angeles County, demonstrating that the virus can affect any location. While agencies such as the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District are actively treating areas with high mosquito populations, residents are urged to do their part.
"Vector control agencies in LA County cannot do it alone. It is imperative that the public help us by minimizing the risk of being bitten and removing sources of water on their property that can breed mosquitoes. This is not a virus to take lightly," said Kenn Fujioka, District Manager for the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. "Additionally, residents should report dead birds, and also report sources of standing water to their local vector control agencies."
More about West Nile Virus:
More tips to decrease risk of infection:
Where to call with questions about mosquitoes:
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 $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.