Long Beach health officials are reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes this Fourth of July weekend and during the remaining warmer months.
Although no positive West Nile Virus activity has been detected in Long Beach this year, WNV-positive birds and mosquitos have been detected in the counties of Los Angeles and Orange, health officials said.
“Last year, Long Beach experienced the highest number of human cases since the disease first arrived in California in 2002,” Long Beach Health Officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner said. “It is important for our residents to eliminate mosquito breeding in their backyards, report any mosquito breeding in public locations and take precautions to protect themselves against West Nile Virus."
In a release, health authorities advised residents to take precautions that include avoiding mosquito-infested areas (especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active), wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants (especially at dawn and dusk), clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers, and follow new restrictions and limit watering of lawns and outdoor plants to Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Other advised precautions include:
- Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Recycle water for outdoor use instead of using potable water.
- Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of two years.
- Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
- Follow new restrictions and limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to Tuesdays and Saturdays, and avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services by calling 1.877.WNV.BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Health Department Vector Control Program at 562.570.4132 or at www.longbeach.gov/health/wnv_info.
Further information about the WNV may be obtained at the California Department of Public Health website at www.westnile.ca.gov, or at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.