LOS ANGELES – The increase in temperatures during the ongoing heat wave can also lead to an increase in mosquito activity, and an accompanying risk of spreading West Nile virus and other illnesses, authorities warned Friday.
“Mosquitoes may seem inconsequential, but their bites add the risk of becoming ill from a mosquito-borne virus, such as West Nile virus,” said Levy Sun of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.
The district noted that it recently confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected in Long Beach.
Los Angeles County health officials on Thursday confirmed the county’s first human case of the virus, saying the patient was a San Gabriel Valley resident who was hospitalized in March and has since recovered.
Vector control officials are urging people to take steps to control mosquitoes and protect themselves from being bitten.
Residents are urged to:
— eliminate standing water that can attract mosquitoes;
— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;
— wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity;
— use insect repellent with the ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus; and
— ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out.
In 2016, Los Angeles County health officials reported 153 human cases and five deaths from West Nile virus. Those statistics do not include the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own public health agencies.