The first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Long Beach this year has been confirmed, city health officials announced this morning. The case was found in Central Long Beach, north of Spring Street, according to Environmental Health Bureau Manager Nelson Kerr.
As of August 11, 22 human cases have been confirmed statewide in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Kern and Kings, with no 2017 WNV-related deaths.
Prior to this first human case in Long Beach, two WNV-positive mosquito samples were both found in the vicinity of Studebaker Road and Carson Street in the 90808 area code in June and July. One positive bird was found at 3700 Atlantic Avenue in Cal Heights this month, and this week, one sentinel chicken at El Dorado Park was found to be positive.
City health officials are currently updating their map with the latest WNV data. You can find that information here.
The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and while most people infected show no symptoms, fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache may occur. Approximately one in 150 infected may develop more serious diseases, such as brain inflammation and paralysis, according to the release. Persons experiencing these symptoms are advised to seek immediate care.
Ideal mosquito-breeding conditions include summer weather and drought. Dr. Anissa Davis, City Health Officer, encourages all residents to protect themselves from WNV by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle. Remember to clean out containers to eliminate any eggs remaining in the container.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow repellant 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.
- 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.
- Maintain all swimming pools in a clean and sanitary manner, with all circulation and filtration equipment operational and chemical levels within recommended guidelines; drain water from pool covers.
- Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid runoff to gutters and around sprinklers. Do not overwater plants or lawns to avoid creating pools of standing water.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online here.
The Long Beach Health Department continues active surveillance for mosquito populations and works to control them in known public breeding locations such as ponds, wetlands and flood channels. Residents are encouraged to do their part by eliminating standing water in and around their property and reporting breeding sources, such as “green pools,” to the Health Department’s Zika hotline at (562) 570-7907. Residents experiencing “day-biting” mosquitoes are also encouraged to call the hotline.