PRESS RELEASE

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

8/18/2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:081817
Subject:
Public Health Officials Advise Community to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus After First 2017 Case is Detected in Long Beach
Contact:
Anissa Davis, MD
City Health Officer
Department of Health and Human Services
562.570.4047
Anissa.Davis@longbeach.gov




The first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) this year in Long Beach has been confirmed. As of August 11, 2017, 22 human cases have been reported statewide from four California counties, including Los Angeles (14), San Bernardino (4), Kern (3), and Kings (1). There have been no WNV-related deaths this year in California. Prior to the first human case of WNV in Long Beach, the City had documented two WNV positive mosquito samples, one positive bird and one positive sentinel chicken between the months of June and August.

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

Summer weather and drought conditions create an ideal environment for mosquito breeding. Dr. Anissa Davis, City Health Officer, encourages all residents to protect themselves from WNV by taking the following precautions:
Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquitoes can 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 will interrupt the mosquito life cycle. Remember to clean out containers to eliminate any eggs remaining in the container. 
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. 
  • Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow repellant instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s 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 your window screens are in good condition.
  • Maintain all swimming pools in a clean and sanitary manner, with all circulation and filtration equipment operational and chemical levels within recommended guidelines; drain water from pool covers.
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid runoff to gutters and around sprinklers. Do not over water plants or lawns to avoid creating pools of standing water.
  • Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/.
The Long Beach Health Department continues active surveillance for mosquito populations and works to control mosquito populations in known public breeding locations such as ponds, wetlands and flood channels. Residents can do their part by eliminating standing water in and around their property and reporting breeding sources, such as “green pools,” to the Health Department at the number below. Residents are also encouraged to report “day-biting” mosquitoes to the Zika hotline at (562) 570-7907.

For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Health Department, Vector Control Program at (562) 570-4132, at http://www.longbeach.gov/health/inspections-and-reporting/reporting/wnv-info/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LBHealthDept/.

More information about the WNV may be obtained at the California Department of Public Health website at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/,or at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.

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.