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With the summer months and warmer weather approaching, Long Beach residents and visitors will be enjoying the outdoors with backyard barbeques and trips to parks and beaches. Warmer weather also creates an ideal environment for some uninvited guests - mosquitoes. Although there has been no West Nile Virus (WNV) activity detected in Long Beach this year, WNV positive mosquitoes have been detected in nearby Wilmington and Harbor City. With that in mind, Long Beach City Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, is urging residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes during the upcoming warmer summer months by taking some simple precautions:
· Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
· Mosquitoes 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 interrupts 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 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 2.
· 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 Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Health Department, Vector Control Program, at 562.570.4132 or online at www.longbeach.gov/health and click on "West Nile Virus." Further information about WNV may also be obtained at the California Department of Public Health website at www.westnile.ca.gov, or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.
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