West Nile Virus Claims Another Victim, Officials Say Don't Take Chances

Pasadena Residents Urged to Comply with Preventive Measures

Published : Monday, August 26, 2019 | 4:41 PM

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

The West Nile virus (WNV) has claimed another victim, this time in Central California, Fresno County health officials said. Officials say that 78-year old man is the second person killed by the virus in 2019. Fresno Bee identified the Fresno victim as Robert Diaz.

According to the California Department of Public Health West Nile Virus Website, there are 45 human cases of WNV in the State as of August 23, 2019.

There were two confirmed cases in Los Angeles County.

WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of female mosquitoes and causes human illness and deaths every year in California. Some people who contract West Nile Virus may develop serious complications, including debilitating encephalitis. Those that survive this less common outcome of the disease, may be left to suffer with lifelong disabilities.

Only one in five persons who contract West Nile virus show symptoms of the disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “one in 150 who are infected develop a serious illness that can be fatal.” Although all age groups are susceptible to WNV, it is likely to affect individuals over 50 years old.

“Keep in mind that West Nile virus is endemic to Los Angeles County. This means it is maintained in bird and mosquito populations, and transmitted to humans each and every year,” warns officials at the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. “The virus activity increases during warmer weather when mosquito are more abundant.”

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents under its jurisdiction to comply with environmental and health preventive measures to counter the threat of WNV.

Homeowners should perform routine property maintenance every 5 days in the summer months. Mosquitoes lay their eggs and develop in small amounts of water, such as plant saucers, buckets, debris, or anything else that can hold water for more than 5 days. Simply dumping out all stagnant water will prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property. Properly maintaining swimming pools, or draining out those that are not being used is also critical to reducing mosquito populations.

Other preventive measures include applying CDC recommended mosquito repellents when mosquitoes are most active, during the evening and early morning hours. Additionally, wearing long sleeves and pants, draining water containers around the house, and cleaning your yard of trash and unused containers will help prevent the transmission of West Nile virus.

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is located at 1145 N. Azusa Canyon Road, West Covina CA 91790. Telephone No. (626) 814-9466. For more information about their services visit their website at https://www.sgvmosquito.org/





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