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West Nile Virus Is Found In Long Beach!

Long Beach health officials warned that the West Nile virus was recently detected in two dead crows for the first time this summer.

Residents are being asked to take precautions against the virus.

There have been no human cases reported in Long Beach this year. So far, 12 counties have detected the virus. Infected birds and mosquitoes were found in both Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache are some of the signs and symptoms.

Summer weather is an ideal environment for mosquito breeding. Dr. Helene Calvet, a Long Beach Health Officer, encourages everyone to take the following precautions:

  • Stay out of mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk. This is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Standing water is where mosquitoes breed and you need to eliminate any standing water on your property. Drain all water from neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets and old tires.
  • If you’re out at dawn or dusk, protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You should consult your physician before using these products on a child under the age of two.
  • Make sure your home has tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to help keep mosquitoes out.
  • Keep your swimming pool and spa well maintained. If not in use, make sure they are kept drained.
  • Try and reduce the amount of watering of lawns and gardens.  Avoid forming pools of standing water. Keep your sprinklers adjusted to help reduce the amount of runoff into gutters.
  • Always report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services. Their number is (877) 968-2473.

For more information, you may also contact the Orange County Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421.