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Dormant mosquito-borne virus reappears in L.A. County

Vector control last confirmed Saint Louis Encephalitis virus in 2009
LOS ANGELES – 8/24/2016 – This past week, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) confirmed the reappearance of Saint Louis Encephalitis, the first time in seven years within the District borders.

GLACVCD detected Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) in a routine testing of mosquito samples from a trap located in Whittier. The last confirmation of SLE by GLACVCD was in a wild bird in September 2009.

SLE is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, just like West Nile Virus (WNV). The viruses share the same symptoms: fever, headache, nausea and tiredness. Most people infected will not exhibit apparent symptoms. People who spend time outdoors when mosquitoes are active, such as dawn and dusk, are at increased risk. There is no specific treatment for SLE.

This past week, GLACVCD also confirmed 26 West Nile virus (WNV) mosquito samples and nine dead birds that tested positive for West Nile virus. As a further indication WNV is widespread, the District confirmed West Nile virus presence in three sentinel chickens.

Vector control detected WNV activity for the first time this year in the following cities or communities:
• Huntington Park
• Rowland Heights

“Confirmations of Saint Louis Encephalitis and West Nile virus are reminders that the threat is real in our cities,” said Levy Sun, the District’s public information officer. “Thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and ignoring the mosquito risk can be dangerous.”

Vector control also recommends that residents use insect repellent when outdoors, and report mosquito problems and inoperable swimming pools/ponds to the District promptly. See more tips on preventing mosquito breeding and staying bite-free

West Nile virus is primarily found in birds, and is transmitted between birds and to people and horses by mosquito bites. Learn more about West Nile virus.

Residents experiencing mosquito problems during the day or at night, even after dumping all standing water, can receive help from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.ReportMosquitoes.org.