Long Beach, CA – The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season was reported in Long Beach this week. The patient, in their 60s, was diagnosed with neuro-invasive illness and is currently hospitalized.
“While the world is focused on COVID-19 prevention and response, this is an important reminder that we continue to see cases of West Nile Virus most years in Long Beach,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “We cannot let our guard down against mosquito-borne diseases.”
The Long Beach WNV case is only the second reported in California this year, after the first human case of the season was reported in Stanislaus County. No mosquitoes in Long Beach have been found to be positive for WNV thus far this season.
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 who become infected have no symptoms. However, approximately one in 150 may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.
Long Beach health officials are advising 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 you go 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 large amounts of mosquitoes by visiting www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes.
- Report dead birds online at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/.
The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department’s Vector Control Program along with partner agencies, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District continue to treat areas with high populations of mosquitoes throughout the City on a daily basis. While these agencies are doing everything they can to control the mosquito population, the public still plays an important role by stopping mosquitoes from breeding in and around their homes and reporting breeding in neighborhoods and other public areas.
For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.longbeach.gov/wnv.