Precautions For West Nile Virus
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Aug 8, 2012 - 5:21:35 PM
BEVERLY HILLS—The City of Beverly Hills has released a statement to residents warning them to take precautionary measures to protect against West Nile Virus.
Photo Courtesy of DHCS' website
A dead bird found in Beverly Hills was recently reported as a carrier of the West Nile Virus. As of press time, there have been 13 cases of humans infected by the virus just this year in seven California counties. One of the cases resulted in the death of an 88-year-old woman in Kern County.
The virus is transferred to humans from mosquitoes who have fed on infected birds. "Health officials emphasize that the risk of serious illness to humans is low. Most people who are infected do not get sick at all. Ten to 15 percent of infected persons experience moderate symptoms, including fever, headache and body aches," states the press release.
It is said that the elderly or people with weak immune systems are more susceptible to the virus of which less than one percent will develop serious illnesses such as meningitis and encephalitis.
The California Health Department has requested that residents take extra precautions when spending time outside during times when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and the first two hours after sunset. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, be sure to apply bug repellent that contains DEET.
Also, make sure all the doors and windows in your home have tight-fitting screens without any tears or holes. If you notice a significant mosquito problem in you area, then contact the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District at (310) 915-7370.
The California Department of Health Services urges residents to report birds that have been dead for less than 48 hours on their toll-free hot line at 1-877-WNV-BIRD. Individuals who report a dead bird will be notified when the bird will be picked up for WNV testing. If you have not been contacted in 24 hours then you may dispose of the bird. It has not been reported that the handling of dead birds can transmit the virus, but to stay on the safe side use gloves and put the bird in a trash bag for disposal.
To learn more about West Nile Virus in California or to report dead beards online, visit the California Department of Health Services website at http://westnile.ca.gov/.
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