LANCASTER – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed four more human cases of West Nile virus in the Antelope Valley, bringing the total to six residents for the 2020 mosquito season.
The Antelope Valley’s first two cases were reported earlier this week. There also was a West Nile virus-positive bird collected near 50th West and Avenue K in Lancaster, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, which also identified 10 West Nile positive mosquito samples so far for the season.
“The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District identifies the presence of West Nile virus every year is some form, but this is the time of year when potential human transmission is at the peak,” said District entomologist Karen Mellor.
West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in the Antelope Valley, according to District manager Cei Kratz.
“We encourage residents to be proactive about mosquito control around their property,” Kratz said. “Mosquito control is a shared effort between residents and the District, and with the recent human cases of West Nile virus this 2020 season, taking personal protective measures is vital.”
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Those who get West Nile virus may experience mild symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. In some cases, especially in people over 50 and those with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes,
severe West Nile virus infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord causing meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death. There is no specific treatment for WNV disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.
The District urges residents to continue to do their part in mosquito control and protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:
- Check property for standing water and get rid of it.
- When mosquitoes are active, use EPA registered insect repellents that contain one of these main ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535.
- Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good repair to avoid mosquitoes in the home.
- Check around faucets, irrigation systems and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.
- Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD at 661-942-2917.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.]
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