PRESS RELEASE

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

9/1/2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:090117
Subject:
Health Officer Advises Long Beach Residents to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus after State Announces California’s First Deaths for 2017
Contact:
Anissa Davis, MD
City Health Officer
Department of Health and Human Services
562.570.4047
Anissa.Davis@longbeach.gov




The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today three confirmed deaths in California due to West Nile virus (WNV). The deceased persons were residents of Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. CDPH is unable to provide additional patient details including demographic information and name of hospital providing care to protect confidentiality. In light of the CDPH announcement, Long Beach Health Officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, is reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes and West Nile Virus during the last months of summer when human cases begin to increase.

Long Beach has documented three human West Nile virus cases and no deaths this year to date. The City has also documented positive activity in the form of positive birds, chickens and mosquitoes.

“These first two deaths in California due to West Nile virus is a reminder of the serious risk of mosquito bites,” said Dr. Davis. “I would like to advise Long Beach residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and minimize the risk of infection, especially during this time of year when the risk of infection is at its highest.”

The Health Department is recommending residents protect against mosquito bites and West Nile Virus by taking a few 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, and follow instructions on the label. Consult a pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of two.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes, and check to make sure 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 avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.

West Nile Virus is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of West Nile Virus may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people who are infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.

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 by selecting “West Nile Virus” from the services directory. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lbdhhs. To report “day-biting” mosquitoes, call the Zika Hotline at (562) 570-7907.

Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird (1-877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

Additional information about WNV may also be obtained at www.westnile.ca.gov, or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.

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.