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West Nile virus mosquitoes return to local area

West Nile virus activity returns to local area

Just as it has in every other recent summer, West Nile virus mosquitoes have been found again in Lakewood. There are a total of 24 communities in Los Angeles County that have had West Nile mosquito samples so far this year, including nearby Bellflower and Cerritos, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. Last year, over 50 communities in the county had positive West Nile mosquito samples. The new 2016 samples are a reminder for Lakewood residents to take precautions during the summer months.

See the Lakewood CityTV video interview of a Lakewood resident who contracted West Nile virus in the past. The segment also gives insight into what you can do to protect yourself: www.lakewoodcity.org/WestNileVideo.

It’s normal to see an uptick in West Nile virus reports during summer months. According to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) this year is no different.

Summer’s longer days and warmer nights mean more outdoor activities for you and your family. It also means more exposure to mosquitoes potentially carrying the West Nile virus.

Although the West Nile disease isn’t severe in healthy individuals, often passing unnoticed, those with weakened immune systems and the chronically sick can be hit with a devastating illness. GLACVCD, at http://www.glacvcd.org urges residents to follow these precautions:

  • Clear your yard of containers (even the smallest) that might hold water where mosquitoes can breed.
  • Install or repair window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot get indoors.
  • Drain kids’ pools, and check pool and vehicle covers that might hold water for excessive periods of time.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when engaging in outdoor activities at dawn and during sunset, which is when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
  • When outside at that time, consider applying approved insect repellents containing active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

West Nile precautions also include being mindful how you water. Stagnant water accumulating in ditches, drains, gutters and backyard containers and pools is ideal for mosquito breeding. Untreated swimming pools can be reported to Lakewood City Hall by calling 562-866-9771, extension 2140, or emailing service1@lakewoodcity.org.

The statewide website following the topic is http://www.westnile.ca.gov. Residents finding any dead birds or squirrels can report them on that website or call the West Nile Virus Dead Bird Hotline at 877-968-2473.