The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season has been reported in Long Beach. The person, in their 60s, was hospitalized and diagnosed with neuro-invasive illness, and is currently recovering at home.
As of Sept. 16, there have been 54 cases of WNV reported in California this year, with eight of those cases reported in Los Angeles County. Earlier this month, WNV-positive mosquitoes were detected in Long Beach through a mosquito surveillance program where potential breeding sites for mosquito habitation are monitored on a weekly basis.
WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation, paralysis or death. People who are over 50 years old or have chronic health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness; people with these symptoms should seek immediate care. There is no vaccine or treatment for WNV.
City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis, advises residents to take the following precautions:
Prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellent with EPA-registered active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus before going outside.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if spending time outside during dawn and dusk. WNV-carrying mosquitoes are most active during those times.
Install or repair door and window screens.
Dump and drain standing water around your home.
Report mosquitoes and learn more about mosquito prevention by visiting longbeach.gov/mosquitoes.
Report dead birds online or call 877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).