The mosquitoes are then sent to a lab where they are tested for West Nile Virus. The virus tends to develop in pools of water where more mosquitoes are concentrated together. As we approach a holiday weekend, when many spend extra time outdoors, it is important that we keep in mind to protect ourselves from getting bitten and contracting this and other diseases. They encourage people to use insect repellent like DEET or picaridin, wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when going outside and limit their activity around dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that carry the disease are most active. There has not been a West Nile virus death in the Riverside County since 2015.
No infected samples have been found in the Santa Clarita Valley this year.
"To ensure the protection of family, friends and pets, it's important that residents take the proper steps to eliminate standing water on properties", said Mary-Joy Coburn, the district's community affairs director. Fix holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
DRAIN - Standing water can attract mosquitoes, so if you can, make sure you drain standing water as best you can.
"If planning to spend time outdoors over the Labor Day weekend, apply insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites". Other repellents containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol are also effective against mosquitoes.
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West Nile virus is endemic in Los Angeles County, and the summer heat can increase virus activity and mosquito populations.
Mosquito populations carrying West Nile virus have been found in Utah following weather conditions that allowed the insects to flourish, with several counties reporting cases of infected people. There is no cure for WNV. Most people infected by the virus will have no symptoms at all.
The virus can cause fever, headaches, body aches and nausea to more serious things like inflammation of the brain or spinal cord in rare instances. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions.
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is a public health service agency formed under the authority of the California State Health & Safety Code. WNV is a vector-borne disease meaning that for individuals to become infected, they must be bitten by an infected mosquito.