Public well being officers on Thursday confirmed Los Angeles County’s first human instances of West Nile virus of the 12 months.
Six instances have been confirmed within the Antelope, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, with most sufferers hospitalized for the sickness in late July and early August, the L.A. County Division of Public Well being stated in a launch. All the sufferers are recovering.
L.A. County doesn’t report instances in Lengthy Seashore or Pasadena, which function their very own public well being companies; neither metropolis has publicly reported any confirmed instances as of Thursday.
“It is a reminder that West Nile virus is lively in Los Angeles County yearly and mosquito management is a shared duty,” stated Leann Verdick, district supervisor of the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Management District.
Final 12 months, the county reported 17 instances of West Nile, leading to 12 hospitalizations and one demise, a marked decline from 2020, which noticed 93 instances, 79 hospitalizations and seven deaths.
The county has averaged 91 confirmed instances of West Nile for the previous 5 years, though the true variety of instances is probably going larger as most people who find themselves contaminated expertise gentle or no sickness, so their instances will not be reported.
Three-quarters of reported instances concerned extreme illness, in keeping with L.A. County public well being officers, and almost 10% of these with extreme illness die from problems.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Orange County Well being Care Company reported its first confirmed an infection of the 12 months.
West Nile virus is unfold by mosquitoes which might be discovered all through L.A. County, and well being officers are urging the general public to take measures to guard themselves, particularly adults 50 and older and other people with continual well being situations who’re vulnerable to critical sickness.
“Easy measures can scale back mosquitos and mosquito bites, like defending your self and your loved ones with insect repellent and eradicating standing water exterior your own home,” Los Angeles County well being officer Dr. Muntu Davis stated within the launch. “West Nile virus can result in hospitalization or demise, and, by taking preventative steps now, residents can higher shield themselves in opposition to an infection and the intense neuro-invasive illness attributable to this virus.”
The Division of Public Well being additionally suggested residents to keep away from mosquito-infested areas at daybreak and nightfall and to put on long-sleeved shirts and pants when open air, particularly throughout the early morning and night hours.