The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season was reported in Long Beach this week. The patient, in their 40s, was diagnosed with neuroinvasive illness and is currently recovering at home.
“This is an important reminder for people to continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “Everyone needs to take steps to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.”
There have been 32 cases of WNV reported in California this year, with five cases reported in LA 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 infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop 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 mosquitoes and learn more about mosquito prevention by visiting www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes
- Report dead birds online or call 877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473)
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 how to protect yourself from mosquito bites, visit www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes, or call the Mosquito Hotline at 562.570.4132. For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.longbeach.gov/WNV.