Three of the 31 mosquito samples that tested positive for the West Nile virus this week in Los Angeles County came from Studio City, the Vector Control District reported.
Because West Nile virus activity is approaching levels that are considered epidemic years, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District will be making a concerted effort to notify residents in Studio City and other risk areas in the county on Friday and Saturday.
They are planning an aggressive public outreach and mosquito control campaign to raise awareness and safeguard residents against mosquito bites and virus transmission.
None of the 13 dead birds with the virus were found in Studio City (but one in Encino and one in Van Nuys), but three of the mosquito samples taken in 91604 and analyzed this week tested positive. The 31 others ranged from Boyle Heights and Burbank to Encino and Winnetka.
After careful analysis of mosquito infection rates throughout the District, GLACVCD is focusing outreach and control efforts on "hot spots" in the communities of Norwalk, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Whittier this week.
A comprehensive door-to-door campaign will take place on Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Friday, staff members will target portions of the communities of Studio City, Norwalk and Whittier.
Statewide, 118 positive dead birds for West Nile virus have been identied, along with 271 positive mosquito samples and 19 positive sentinel chickens so far this year.
“The level of West Nile virus detected in mosquito samples and dead birds in Los Angeles County this July is the highest it’s been since the last epidemic year in 2008,” said Director of Scientific-Technical Services Susanne Kluh. “We are urging residents to take notice of the elevated level of virus activity this summer and protect themselves.”
Precautions suggested include:
Eliminate standing water on your property because that’s where mosquitoes breed.
Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.
Wear insect repellent containing EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil and long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors. Use properly-fitted screens free from tears on windows and doors around your home to keep mosquitoes out.
Staff members will be notifying residents of the West Nile virus activity in their area, providing them with instructive brochures, and offering to conduct yard inspections for mosquito breeding sources. Bilingual Spanish/English door hangers will be left on homes where in-person contact cannot be made.
"Our Vector Control Specialists work diligently year-round in all of our communities throughout Greater Los Angeles County to control mosquito populations," said Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever.
"However, unknown backyard breeding sources are a major problem for us, so we must partner with the community to help us identify and eliminate standing water. Our goal with this campaign is to give residents the knowledge and tools necessary to protect themselves from this potentially debilitating disease while providing immediate service to residents through property inspections and source reduction."
The District said they hope that this important campaign will not only alert residents to this year's particularly ominous West Nile virus threat, but will also incite a call-to-arms for people to apply insect repellent and eliminate mosquito breeding sources around their homes.
Visit www.glacvcd.org for further vector control and West Nile virus information. For statewide information and statistics about West Nile virus, or to report a dead bird or squirrel, visit www.westnile.ca.gov or call 1-877-WNV BIRD.