Briefs West Niles Virus

Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Zamná Ávila

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West Niles Virus Kills in Long Beach

Long Beach — On Nov. 18, Long Beach Public Health Officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner announced that a resident died due to complications associated with West Niles Virus,— a first for the city since 2004.

The resident, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in October. The resident was in his mid-70s and lived on east side of Long Beach.

Long Beach has reported six human cases to date in 2013. There have been eight West Niles Virus-related fatalities in Los AngelesCounty this year. Statewide, there have been 349 human cases reported, including 13 fatalities, as of November 12, 2013.

To reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, Dr. Kushner is advising residents to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water.  Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk.
  • Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.  Residents should follow instructions on the label.  Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of 2.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers.
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.
  • Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services

Details: (877) 968-2473 or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

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