WEST NILE VIRUS

    

Is Your Backyard a Mosquito Breeding Ground?

As concerns rise about West Nile Virus, the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District (LACWVCD) would like the publicís help in preventing the spread of the virus by surveying their own yard for mosquito breeding sources.

You can help control mosquitoes by simply removing stagnant water.  Some common backyard breeding sources are neglected swimming pool, spa, ornamental pond, open boat, birdbath, water garden, tarps, tires, leaky watering equipment, clogged rain gutter, and anything that will hold water for more than a few days.

Homes that maintain an ornamental pond, fountain or water garden are encouraged to use mosquito fish as a preventative measure against mosquito breeding.  The use of mosquito fish is a natural way of controlling mosquito larvae without the use of insecticides or chemicals.  An adult mosquito fish can consume up to 100 larvae a day.  They have proven to be effective and indispensable in the Cityís prevention plan.

If you are bothered by mosquitoes, need assistance with eliminating breeding sources on or around your property, or if you would like to obtain mosquito fish, please contact the LACWVCD at (310) 915-7370.

Preventative Measures

Residents are asked to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by eliminating water sources around their yards.

  • Do not allow water to sit in old tires, flower pots, trash, swimming pools, bird baths, pet bowls etc.

  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; drain water from pool covers

  • Stock garden ponds with goldfish or mosquito fish.  They eat the mosquito eggs and larve

  • Empty and wash bird baths and wading pools every few days.

The following precautions will reduce a person's risk to all mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors

  • Use insect repellent products with no more than 35% DEET for adults and less than 10% for children

  • Ensure your windows have screens that do not have holes

 

Exposure to West Nile Virus

Fewer than one out of 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito get severely ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In most cases people who are infected never become sick or have only very mild symptoms for a few days.  The virus can in rare cases cause encephalitis and death. The elderly are most at risk for severe cases of the disease.  There is no specific treatment for the West Nile virus.  In a serious case, an individual may be hospitalized to ensure good supportive care.

Most people who are infected with WNV have no symptoms.  Of those that become ill, symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, body aches and mild skin rash.  In a few cases, the disease will progress to encephalitis.

Animals and West Nile Virus

Although the vast majority of WNV infections in animals have been identified in birds, WNV has been shown to infect horses, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels and domestic rabbits.  An equine WNV vaccine recently became available for horses.  For more information, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/AHFSS/Animal_Health/WNV_Info.html

The public is encouraged to report if a recently dead bird (dead less than 24 hours) is found;
contact 1-877-WNV-BIRD.  More information is available on the DHS website at lapublichealth.org/acd/VectorWestNile.htm

 

Where to Call with Questions about Mosquitoes

Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District 562-944-9656
Los Angeles County West Vector Control District 310-915-7370
San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District 626-814-9466
Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District 661-942-2917
Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District 310-639-7375

 

Where to Report Suspected Human Cases of WNV Infection

During business hours, call the Acute Communicable Disease Control Unite at 213-240-7941 Or, use the Los Angeles County Department of Health's Confidential Morbidity Report.  You can fax your report to the Morbidity Central Reporting Unite (MCRU) at 888-397-3778.

 

City of Calabasas © 2014