With 6 Deaths So Far, County Steps Up Mosquito Warnings

By City News Service

Los Angeles County health officials, joined by Supervisor Janice Hahn, went door-to-door Monday as they began a public-outreach campaign warning residents about West Nile virus and the dangers of mosquito bites.

“Here in L.A. County there are mosquitoes currently carrying the West Nile virus,” Hahn said. “So far this year there have been 98 cases of individuals with West Nile virus and six confirmed deaths.”

Health officials noted that there were 17 new cases of West Nile virus in the county last week alone, highlighting the continuing danger of mosquito-borne illnesses — which also include the Zika virus.

“Mosquitoes can carry serious and even deadly diseases, and every precaution should be taken to protect yourself and your family from bites,” Hahn said.

Hahn and the county announced the “It’s Not Just a Bite” public health campaign, aimed at spreading the word about the need for residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Paramount among the recommendations is the warning to clear properties of standing water that can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Even a small puddle of water can attract the insects and endanger residents, officials said.

Residents were also urged to wear mosquito repellent when outdoors, noting that people over 50 and those with existing health conditions are most at risk of developing serious health issues from West Nile virus.

Information about the West Nile and Zika viruses is available online from the county Department of Public Health at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Mosquito-Borne-Disease.htm.

Symptoms of West Nile virus can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headaches, but many people who are infected may not show any symptoms. About one in 150 people could develop more serious problems, such as brain inflammation or paralysis, health officials said.

Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans the months of May to October, but health officials said this year’s season could stretch into November.

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September 28, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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