Los Angeles News

1st human case of West Nile virus reported in LA County

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Health officials have confirmed the year's first known human case of West Nile in Los Angeles County.

The person is identified only as a middle-aged adult who lives in the San Gabriel Valley. The victim was hospitalized, but is now recovering at home.

Every year, vector control's urgency to spray standing water grows as more West Nile Virus cases pop up. The latest confirmed human case in L.A. County puts the state total at five.

"It's disgusting. I don't like them around me. I don't like bugs, just knowing that they're going to carry around the virus that could kill people, it's just scary," said Tala Roumani of Covina.

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have been collected in Whittier, Reseda and Canoga Park. A dead crow infected with the virus was collected in Winnetka.

Stagnant sources of water, like those found in abandoned pools, are an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Vector control sprays them daily.

"We need to get the word out to help eliminate any types of stagnant water around the house that you would find, whether it be a swimming pool, fish ponds, buckets, unused tires, gutters, all that really needs some attention and needs to be dumped out," said Alfonso Melgoza, a vector control technician with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control.

Vector control urges people to call if they need help and they'll even provide free mosquito-eating fish for ponds.

Only one in five people infected with the virus shows symptoms, which include headaches, nausea or skin rash.

Though some living in the San Gabriel Valley don't seem too concerned, West Nile Virus can be deadly. The health department warns to take precautions, like wearing insect repellant containing DEET and changing water in pet dishes and bird baths weekly.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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health, los angeles news, rudabeh shahbazi
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