Home Health News Mosquitoes collected in Orange test positive for West Nile virus; 9 birds also found with the disease around Orange County – OCRegister

Mosquitoes collected in Orange test positive for West Nile virus; 9 birds also found with the disease around Orange County – OCRegister

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Mosquitoes found at El Camino Real Park in Orange have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Monday, Aug. 5. The mosquito sample, collected July 30, was the first batch to test positive for the virus in the county in 2019.

The vector control district also announced, Monday, that a total of nine dead birds infected with the disease were found in Cypress, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Tustin. Given the number of birds infected, “we anticipate we’ll get more positives (in mosquitoes) with West Nile virus throughout the county,” Lora Young, spokeswoman for the vector control district, said.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Orange County this year, according to vector control officials.

However, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, on Monday, confirmed L.A. County’s first two cases of human West Nile virus in 2019. One resident of the San Fernando Valley and another in the southeastern portion of the county contracted the virus in late July and are in recovery.

It was in early August last year that Orange County reported it first human case of West Nile virus, a woman in her 70s in Tustin. There were 38 reported infections and four deaths in 2017 due to West Nile virus in Orange County.

West Nile virus is passed on to humans by infected mosquitoes. Though most people do not experience symptoms, some may have fever, aches, nausea and skin rashes. Depending on individuals and their immune systems, the infection can lead to hospitalization or death.

Staff from the Mosquito and Vector Control District are increasing mosquito trapping to determine where the disease is concentrated, and are searching for breeding sources — standing bodies of water — near El Camino Real Park. They also are promoting public awareness.

The district’s recommendations to prevent mosquito bites and West Nile infection:

  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended
  • Wear repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space; repair broken or damaged screens
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter-colored clothing

The district’s tips on reducing mosquito breeding sources:

  • Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week
  • Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly
  • Dump water from potted plant saucers

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