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CDPH reports increased West Nile virus activity statewide

Another mosquito-borne illness, Zika virus attempting to stake a claim of its own in U.S. SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reporting increased West Nile virus activity across the state and is investigating

Another mosquito-borne illness, Zika virus attempting to stake a claim of its own in U.S.

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reporting increased West Nile virus activity across the state and is investigating numerous suspect cases in humans.

While the first human case has not been confirmed by CDPH, a resident of Los Angeles County has symptoms consistent with West Nile virus disease. Initial tests on that patient indicate a probable West Nile virus diagnosis, requiring further testing for confirmation.

“Californians should take every possible precaution to avoid mosquito bites,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Simple steps, like applying repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in the early morning and evening, and draining standing water near your home can help to prevent bites from infected mosquitoes.”

To date in 2016, West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes and birds in 30 California counties. Approximately 600 dead birds and 896 mosquito pools sampled in California this year have been found to harbor the virus.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than one percent – can develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. Recent data also indicate that people with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.

Meanwhile, another mosquito-borne illness, the Zika virus is beginning to spread its reach throughout the U.S. There are 6,400 confirmed Zika cases, nationally. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes 1,661 cases in the continental U.S. and 4,728 cases in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

The first local spread of Zika virus through infected mosquitoes in the continental U.S. occurred in Miami, Florida in late July.

This includes those returning from affected areas, their sexual contacts and infants infected in utero. There are 1,647 travel-related cases in the continental U.S. and 20 cases in U.S. territories.

Local cases presume mosquito-borne transmission. There are14 locally-spread cases in the continental U.S. and 4,708 cases in U.S. territories.

New York has surpassed Florida as the state with the most travel-related Zika cases. Click to visit each state’s website with local information regarding the virus. California had 87 travel-related cases of Zeka, to date

CDPH recommends that individuals prevent exposure to mosquito bites,West Nile, and the Zika virus by practicing the “Three Ds,” which limit the spread of all mosquito varieties.

DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting. DEET can be used safely on infants and children two months of age and older.

DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.

DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate or drain all sources of standing water around homes and properties, including buckets, old car tires, rain gutters, birdbaths, and pet bowls. If a swimming pool is not being properly maintained, please contact the local mosquito and vector control agency.

California’s West Nile virus website includes the latest information on West Nile virus activity in the state. Californians are encouraged to report all dead birds on the website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).

 

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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