West Nile Virus continues to affect people in Long Beach, city officials announced today.
As of yesterday, there have been 17 confirmed cases of the virus in Long Beach this year, including the death of an East Long Beach man in August, said City Health Officer Mitchell Kushner in a statement. The number of cases has more than doubled since last year.
“This is a significant increase from 2013, in which there were seven cases reported the entire year,” Kusner said in the statement. “These numbers are consistent with the rest of California, as so far this year 238 human cases have been reported in 26 different counties across the state. The California Department of Public Health is calling this the highest level of infected mosquitoes ever detected. More cases are expected, as this is the time of year when the risk of infection is at its highest.”
Eliminating mosquito breeding sources assists in reducing the risk of West Nile Virus since it is primarily spread through mosquito bites, Kushner said.
The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services encourages residents to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile Virus with the following tips:
- Eliminating stagnant and standing water on their properties – remember that piles of debris, drip plates under potted plants, buckets, barrels, fountains, ponds, toys, and tires are some common sources of standing water.
- Reporting green pools (swimming pools or spas that are not properly maintained and appear green due to algae growth or poor maintenance) to the Health Department at 562.570.4132.
Residents can take precautions to protect themselves and their family members by following the 5 Ds:
- DEET-use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow instructions on label.
- Dress-wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain-drain stagnant water from around the house, bird baths, pet food, fountains, children’s pools, old tires, etc…. Swimming pools should be maintained to avoid mosquito breeding.
- Doors-screen all doors and windows to exclude mosquitoes.
- Dead Birds-report dead birds to the State’s dead-bird hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD
For more information about the virus, visit longbeach.gov/health.