As Memorial Day weekend approaches, residents are encouraged to protect themselves by eliminating standing water around their homes and businesses, and by reporting day-biting mosquitoes.
“With increased rainfall this winter, and warmer weather approaching, mosquito activity is expected to increase,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, City Health Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. “Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Zika virus, and only need small amounts of water to breed.”
To prevent mosquito breeding around the home, residents should:
- Empty any containers filled with water
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls
- Dump water from potted plant saucers
Residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to the City’s Zika Hotline at (562) 570-7907.
Residents should also protect themselves from mosquito bites inside the home and while traveling to areas where the Zika virus is present by:
- Consistently using mosquito repellent when outside
- Wearing long sleeves and pants
- Using air conditioning
- Making sure to install screens on doors and windows
- Ensuring screen doors and windows have no holes in them
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Zika virus is spread primarily through mosquito bites and can also be transmitted by both men and women during sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time. Pregnant women and couples planning to become pregnant should practice extra caution to avoid mosquito bites. Most people infected with Zika virus won’t have any symptoms, or will only have mild symptoms, which may include fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes.
While the mosquitoes that carry Zika virus have not yet been identified in Long Beach, they are present in surrounding cities and counties. There have not been any reports of local transmission of Zika virus to date in California.
West Nile virus (WNV) is also transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV can cause a deadly infection in humans, and the elderly are particularly susceptible. WNV symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back. More severe symptoms, and even death, can occur.
The State’s first human infection of WNV this year was reported last month, and Long Beach experiences several cases of WNV each year. WNV can also cause death in birds. Please report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov
For more information about mosquitoes, visit: www.longbeach.gov/health
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, or call the Zika Hotline at (562) 570-7907. About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health & 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, allowing for better engagement with its people, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and a greater understanding of the city's strengths and needs. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health
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