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West Nile Virus (WNV) continues to be a public health concern in Long Beach. Although WNV has not yet been documented in the City of Long Beach this year, WNV activity has been reported in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and Kern Counties in April 2008. No human cases have been identified in the state this year. In 2007, a total of 380 human WNV infections, including 20 deaths, were reported statewide. The City of Long Beach reported no WNV activity in 2007.
With the onset of warmer weather creating an ideal environment for mosquito breeding, the Long Beach City Health Officer, Dr. Helene Calvet, is urging residents to protect themselves from the virus by taking precautions to avoid mosquitoes. With people spending more time outdoors in the warmer months, it is important to take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV infection. To reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, Dr. Calvet advises residents to take 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.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk.
- Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon or Eucalyptus. Residents should follow 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.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers.
- Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.
- Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For more information, contact the Long Beach Vector Control Program at 570.4132 or at www.longbeach.gov/health; the California Department of Health Services at www.westnile.ca.gov; or the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.
To see official Press Release, please see attached PDF.
( View PDF )
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