The latest report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shows an increase in West Nile Virus activity across the Santa Clarita Valley.
Since the agency’s last report, one additional mosquito tested positive for the virus in Newhall and another tested positive in Santa Clarita. Two sentinel chickens were also found to have the virus in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Signage from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD)—which oversees 6.8 million residents in its 1,340-square-mile area—in Santa Clarita’s Central Park noted that one of these West Nile Virus mosquitoes was found in the popular area.
The report follows a warning shared by the GLACVCD more than two weeks ago about an increase in West Nile Virus across its jurisdiction.
So far, a total of 14 dead birds, 12 sentinel chickens and 202 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile Virus within the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District’s area.
For all of 2017, one of the mosquito samples was reported in Castaic, one was reported in Newhall and two were reported in Santa Clarita.
An Aug. 18 report from the Department of Public Health stated that it had confirmed 27 cases of West Nile Virus in Los Angeles County.
The cases impacted individuals between the ages of 25 and 82 and resulted in 23 hospitalizations and three asymptomatic blood donors, according to the department’s Epidemiology Report No. 3.
Last year, a total of 153 human infections and five fatalities were reported in Los Angeles County for all of 2016.
“By this time in 2016 there were 45 cases reported due to an unusual early increase. Compared to the previous 5-year average, there has been an increased number of cases in July,” the department’s report read.
The cities of Los Angeles and Glendale have had the greatest number of residents with West Nile Virus, with a total of eight cases and four cases reported respectively.
Infections from West Nile virus range from mild to fatal. Infected individuals can experience cognitive and neurological symptoms, and have a mild fever and body aches that can progress to weakness, confusion and paralysis.
Protection Tips from the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District:
- Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors. Clothing can also be treated with permethrin products to prevent bites (read and follow all labels).
- Use and reapply repellent as recommended on the label. How long a repellent works depends on the active ingredient and the concentration you select.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus products as being safe and effective.
- Use infant seat/stroller screen covers on babies younger than 2 months, and only EPA registered repellents on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than three years of age.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_