West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Bellflower, health officials say

County vector control officials said a sample of mosquitoes in Bellflower tested positive for West Nile virus.

The news comes two weeks after the virus was found in the Long Beach area—the season’s first detection of the virus.

“While West Nile virus activity in Los Angeles County is off to a slow start this year, there are many hot summer months ahead which will lead to increased mosquito activity and WNV amplification and transmission,” officials from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District said in a statement Friday.

So far this year, 445 positive mosquito samples outside Los Angeles County have been reported in Southern California, officials said.

West Nile is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms from contracting the disease can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, according to the department. The symptoms can last for several days to months.

The district offered tips for mitigating mosquito habitats, including:

  • eliminating standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week
  • ensuring that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained
  • changing the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly
  • requesting “mosquitofish” from the local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds
  • wearing insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present
  • reporting neglected (green) swimming pools to the vector control district

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