LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced its first human case of West Nile virus on Monday, July 27.
The patient is a young male from the South Bay Area with no previous medical history. He was hospitalized in July for the illness and is currently recovering at home. The department is looking out for other cases of the disease and collaborating with local vector control agencies to help with mosquito control and health education.
The department is urging residents to do their part. Truc Dever, General Manager for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District said in a statement, “Vector Control Agencies in L. A. County cannot do it alone. It is imperative that the public help minimize the risk of being bitten by removing sources of water on their property that can breed mosquitoes. This is not a virus to take lightly. Additionally, residents should report dead birds, and also report sources of standing water to their local vector control agencies.”
The virus is spread to a human when they come into contact with a mosquito that has bitten an infected bird. It does not spread through human to bird contact or person to person contact. Most mosquitos do not carry the virus. The symptoms include headaches, nausea and fever and appear within 3 and 12 days of contracting the illness.
There is no specific cure for the disease, but it rarely results in death. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are likely to show serious symptoms that require hospitalization.