Two of six dead birds that tested positive in Los Angeles County for the West Nile Virus were found in the Studio City and Valley Village areas, adding increased concern that the 91604 and 91607 ZIP codes are hot spots for the potentially deadly virus.
Last week, prompted the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District officials to. This latest result is the first time that a test recorded positive in Valley Village, and the first time for a positive dead bird in either Studio City or Valley Village.
Of the six dead birds testing positive for the virus, one was also found in Van Nuys (91405) and the others were in Pico Rivera, Norwalk and Woodland Hills, according to the Vector Control District.
Also in the latest report, Vector Control officials found more mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus—again in Studio City, as well as in the neighboring San Fernando Valley communities of Burbank, Encino, Northridge, Granada Hills and Sunland.
Two new human cases were recorded in the last week in California, one in Fresno, one in Los Angeles. Previously this year, three cases of the state’s 13 were recorded in Los Angeles County, but officials will not say if those cases were specifically in the Studio City “hot spots” where potentially epidemic rates of the virus is located.
Public information officer Crystal Brown of the Vector Control District said, “West Nile is here to stay and this is something that needs to be a concern every year. If there is a pool of water that isn’t moving, dump it or treat it. There are simple ways of avoiding mosquito breeding grounds.”
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito, and cannot be transmitted person to person, according to the California Department of Public Health.
There is no cure for West Nile virus, nor is there a vaccine. One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several weeks to months.
One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death, according to health officials.
If you exhibit these symptoms after a mosquito bite, then consult a doctor as soon as possible, the health officials recommend. Those at highest risk for severe cases of West Nile virus are children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
A vector ecologist, Harold Morales, spoke last week to the Studio City Neighborhood Council to explain what it means that the area is a “hot spot."
“We want to strive to keep it from becoming an epidemic in Studio City,” said Morales, who conducts the studies for the Vector Control District. “We need people to report neglected pools or other areas of stagnant water where mosquitoes will breed. So far, there have been nine positive mosquito sites here.” (That was before the latest bird finding and new mosquito report.)
Click here for information on the easiest ways to free your house of mosquitoes.
If you want to report stagnant water or an stagnant pool or fountain contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 x511 or visit www.glacvcd.org.
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.