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Been Sick? Most Reported West Nile Illnesses Are Located in the San Fernando Valley

Most of the cases never get diagnosed, and Valley tests on birds and mosquitos still test high. Have you been feeling sick?

Nearly three out of five cases of the diagnosed in humans are found this year in the San Fernando Valley, according to health officials.

The amount of mosquito traps and dead birds that test positive for the virus is approaching epidemic proportions in Los Angeles County, and most of those tests are coming from the Valley, according to , the public information officer of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. 

This week alone, more testing for the potentially-fatal virus were found in Chatsworth, Encino, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills and Reseda.

For the first time. Porter Ranch, in the 91326 ZIP code located a dead bird with the virus, and dead birds were again located in North Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Tarzana, Canoga Park and other parts of the Valley.

And, for the first time all summer, Studio City did not add to the tallied up so far this year in the 91604 area. Van Nuys and Encino are finding more positive samples, and are also becoming “hotspot” areas for the virus.

The vector control officials are crediting an with the decreased numbers in Studio City, and the weather is also cooling.

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has identified an additional 38 positive mosquito samples and 19 West Nile virus positive dead birds this week.

Here are the latest statistics for the mosquito traps that tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

City or Community

Zip Code(s)

Number of WNV+ mosquito samples collected

Bell

90201

2

Carson

90746

1

Chatsworth

91311

1

Compton

90221

1

East Los Angeles

90022

1

Encino

91316, 91436

2

Los Angeles

90011, 90012, 90059

4

Los Feliz

90027

1

Mission Hills

91345

1

Montebello

90640

3

Panorama City

91402

2

Pico Rivera

90660

1

Reseda

91335

1

San Fernando

91340

1

Sherman Oaks

91403

1

South El Monte

91732, 91733

3

Sun Valley

91352

1

Sunland

91040

1

Van Nuys

91406

4

Whittier

90603, 90605

5

Woodland Hills

91367

1


 

This brings the District's total to 149 WNV positive dead birds, 380 WNV positive mosquito samples, and 13 sentinel chickens with WNV antibodies so far this year. Statewide, there have been 463 WNV positive dead birds, 1,651 WNV positive mosquito samples, and 167 sentinel chickens showing WNV antibodies. The number of dead birds that show the virus is shown below.

Dr. Carol Glaser, chief of the ’s Encephalitis and Special Investigations Section told Studio City Patch that people can ask their doctors to test for the West Nile virus, but ultimately it is up to the doctor to see if the test is necessary. Because there is no specific treatment for the virus —which is not contagious human to human—testing can sometimes help identify the cause of the illness.

“If a patient is severely ill with an unknown illness, a positive West Nile virus test may eliminate the need for unnecessary treatment or other expensive tests,” Dr. Glaser said. “Testing for West Nile virus is readily available through most local health departments or commercial laboratories.”

Such tests could also help the Vector Control District analyze areas of hotspots. “Ultimately a physician should make the judgment about the need for testing,” Dr. Glaser said. “The public health department encourages physicians to test for West Nile virus in patients with compatible illness, particularly those with neuroinvasive (such as encephalitis or meningitis) illness. Preliminary data collected by the health department suggests that, in recent years, many patients with illnesses compatible with West Nile were not tested. Physicians who have questions about testing should contact their local public health department.”

So far, 16 people in the Valley have been diagnosed with West Nile out of the 28 Los Angeles County cases. In 2010, only four total cases were found. 

The activity of tests are getting close to the epidemic years of 2004 and 2008, but it’s not yet considered an epidemic, according to Dr. David Dassey of the Los Angeles County's deputy medical director for Acute Communicable Disease Control.

The virus is transmitted from birds to humans by mosquito bites. The first case of it was found in California in 2003, and it was discovered in Uganda in 1937. The flu-like symptoms could cause coughing, high fever and in extreme cases be fatal. Most people get over it in five days to a week. 

The long rainy season this year has caused more standing water in the area, and people must drain out still fountains or water containers, keep pools clean and report any still waters.

According to the Daily News of Los Angeles, four patients with West Nile virus were treated this month at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, three were diagnosed at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, one was confirmed at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City, and one each was found at other area hospitals.

 

City or Community

Zip Code(s)

Number of WNV+  

dead birds collected

Canoga Park

91303

1

Cerritos

90703

1

Chatsworth

91311

2

Encino

91436

1

Hollywood Hills

90068

1

Lakewood

90712

1

North Hills

91343

1

North Hollywood

91601

1

Porter Ranch

91326

1

Reseda

91335

1

Tarzana

91356

1

Valencia

91355

2

Van Nuys

91405,91406

2

West Hills

91307

2

Woodland Hills

91367

1

 

This is the first incidence of West Nile virus in Porter Ranch and Downtown Los Angeles in 2011.

 

 

Protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus this fall by following the 3 D's of West Nile virus prevention: 

Dump/Drain

Eliminate standing water on your property because that's where mosquitoes breed 

Dusk/Dawn 

Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active

Defend

Wear insect repellent containing EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET, IR3535, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus 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.

For more information about West Nile virus and vector control services, please 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.

Also, for more information:

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