Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus may take a bite out of families’ holiday weekend fun, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD) warned.
SGVMVCD advises people to tip stagnant water ahead of any outdoor gatherings and make sure to use mosquito repellent.
"Imagine celebrating this weekend and getting mosquito bites up and down your legs or arms,'' said SGVMVCD Director of Communications Levy Sun. "Staying bite-free means worrying less about mosquitoes and the diseases they can spread."
West Nile virus (WNV) is spread to people through mosquito bites. Birds can become sick from WNV, but do not spread the virus directly to people.
SGVMVCD conducts mosquito trapping and dead bird testing to determine the risk and spread of West Nile virus. When necessary, treatments are made depending on WNV activity and presence of mosquitoes carrying WNV.
As of July 2, 2021, SGVMVCD confirmed West Nile virus positive birds and mosquito samples in the following cities and communities:
- 9 mosquito samples
- 4 dead birds
- 1 dead bird
Unincorporated L.A. County (Vincent neighborhood)
- 3 mosquito samples
- 3 mosquito samples
Sun urged everyone to take the following actions to stay healthy and bite-free:
- Tip out stagnant water around the home weekly;
- Toss unused containers that can hold stagnant water; and
- Protect against bites by using insect repellent containing any one of the following CDC-recommended ingredients: Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD), or IR3535.
"Mosquito control is a responsibility shared by all residents, businesses and property owners," Sun said. “Let’s stay bite-free as we celebrate this holiday weekend.”
For more information, or to report neglected swimming pools of stagnant water, visit www.SGVMosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.
About West Nile Virus
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus (WNV) is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. One in five individuals infected with the WNV, for which there is no cure, will exhibit symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash. The symptoms can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death. Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems. People over 50 years of age and those with chronic health problems are at higher risk of severe illness. While not all mosquitoes carry this virus, the type of mosquito that spreads this virus is found throughout Los Angeles County.
SGVMVCD is one of five vector control districts in Los Angeles County. Year-round, the agency monitors stagnant water sources, such as gutters, storm drains, channels and non-functional swimming pools. The agency also routinely monitors populations of adult mosquitoes using traps and tests groups of adult female mosquitoes for the presence of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases. In addition, the agency submits samples from dead birds, such as crows, for testing, which can provide insight into the spread of WNV.