PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

5/8/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:050818B
Subject:
Long Beach Health Department Launches ‘Remove, Report and Protect’ Campaign During 2018 Mosquito Season
Contact:
Jennifer A. Gonzalez
Outreach & Risk Communication Specialist/PIO
Department of Health & Human Services
562.570.4290
Jennifer.Gonzalez@longbeach.gov





The Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services (Health Department) is ramping up education efforts by launching the “Remove, Report and Protect” campaign during the 2018 mosquito season. Temperatures are warming up and residents are already reporting mosquito activity in their neighborhoods.

“Last year was one of our busiest mosquito seasons on record, as we found the Aedes mosquito for the first time in Long Beach, which has the potential to transmit disease not typically found in Southern California such as Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “In addition to Aedes, we still have the Culex mosquitoes that transmit cases of West Nile Virus in Long Beach each year, which can cause significant illness and in rare cases can be fatal.”

The Health Department will be conducting a wide range of activities throughout this year’s mosquito season, including community presentations, interactive displays at events throughout the City, increased outreach to schools and providers, working to target new populations such as pets, and distributing mosquito kits and other materials to residents.

The Health Department campaign emphasizes three main messages for avoiding mosquito-borne diseases this season:

REMOVE:

To prevent mosquito breeding around the home, residents should:

  • Empty any containers filled with water in and around the home.
  • Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls at least once a week.
  • Dump water from potted plant saucers.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and drain water from pool covers.
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants.

REPORT:

Residents are urged to report unusual numbers of day-biting mosquitoes and neglected or green pools in one of the following ways:

  • Call the Long Beach Mosquito Hotline at 562-570-7907.
  • Submit an online report at www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes.
  • Report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

PROTECT:

Residents should also protect themselves from mosquitoes by:

  • Using mosquito repellent such as DEET when outside during all times of the day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DEET is safe for pregnant women and children over 2 months; always read the label.
  • Make sure to install screens on doors and windows.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, was first identified in Long Beach in June 2017 after an aggressive public outreach campaign urging residents to call and report day-biting mosquitoes to the Health Department’s Zika hotline. The Long Beach Vector Control Program has since confirmed the presence of Aedes mosquitoes in several different areas in Long Beach. Aedes mosquitoes are also known to transmit heartworm, a parasitic disease that can affect both dogs and cats.

The Culex mosquito, carrying the West Nile Virus (WNV), tends to be active during dawn and dusk. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Most people who are infected have no symptoms. Approximately one in 150 may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. In 2017, there were 15 reported cases in Long Beach, including three deaths. In the past five years, 82% of the WNV cases in Long Beach were hospitalized, and 11% were fatal.

For more information about mosquitoes, to schedule a community presentation about mosquito-borne diseases, and for more details on upcoming activities, please visit: www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes and follow the Health Department on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services

The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.