LANCASTER – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported three additional human infections of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Lancaster. Two men in their 50’s had to be hospitalized, but have been discharged and are recovering. The third infection was a male blood donor in his 30’s who had no symptoms.
The Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District also reports an additional dead bird that has tested positive for WNV. This brings the total in the Antelope Valley to five human cases, one asymptomatic blood donor, 16 sentinel chickens, four mosquito samples, and four dead birds.
“We are urging residents to properly protect themselves against mosquito bites,” District Entomologist Karen Mellor said. “Things like dryer sheets, Vitamin B, garlic and Listerine don’t really work. It might work for some, but that’s probably because they were less attractive to the mosquitoes to begin with. We recommend people use repellents that have been proven to repel mosquitoes, such as products with DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535.”
To keep mosquitoes away and stay safe, follow these tips:
- Follow the 3 D’s (Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Defend/DEET).
- Check your property for any standing water from sprinklers or thunder showers.
- Turn on fans to keep mosquitoes away.
- Keep screen doors and windows in good repair, and close them.
- Don’t use bug zappers near your patio – they attract more mosquitoes than they kill.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Although most people that are infected do not show any symptoms, West Nile Virus is a potentially debilitating disease. Even ‘mild’ cases of West Nile Fever can cause patients enormous pain and discomfort for months.
As of September 6, the CA Dept. of Public Health has reported 101 human cases and six fatalities in California. Additionally 982 birds, 2,085 mosquito samples, 316 chickens, eight horses, and seven squirrels from 40 Counties have tested positive for WNV.
Also remember to:
- Get FREE mosquito-eating fish (Gambusia affinis) for fish ponds, pools, and horse troughs.
- Vaccinate your horses properly.
- Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For further questions or services, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917 or visit www.avmosquito.org.
(Information via press release from Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.)
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