Officials: Numbers of Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Virus Rising

HealthWest Nile Virus

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Officials have confirmed the discovery of more mosquito samples carrying the West Nile virus and warn the number could rise as the summer progresses.

Three new samples were found in Northridge and one sample each was found in Silver Lake, Whittier and Winnetka, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District officials said.

This year, district researchers have identified ten positive mosquito samples and one positive dead bird within Los Angeles County.

There have been 91 positive mosquito samples found statewide since the beginning of 2012, up from 5 for the same six-month period last year.

Officials warn that more virus cases may be spotted as the summer season progresses.

"This is a reminder that West Nile virus continues to be a problem here in Los Angeles County," Susanne Kluh, Director of Scientific-Technical Services for the District said in a statement.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito, and only one in five people infected will exhibit symptoms.

Symptoms usually last 5 days to 2 weeks and include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash.

Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and even death.

Los Angeles County health authorities recommend wearing repellents containing DEET, picaradin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus to most effectively prevent mosquito bites.

The County also recommends screen-proofing homes to keep out mosquitoes, and eliminating sources of standing water on your property.

Residents finding any dead bird are encouraged to call the West Nile Virus Toll Free Hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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