Photo: GLACVCD

Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus) – Common local mosquito

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has confirmed another West Nile virus positive mosquito sample, this time collected in a vector control mosquito trap located in Woodland Hills.

This is the second WNV positive mosquito sample in the San Fernando Valley in 2016.

Residents can expect West Nile virus to be pervasive throughout L.A. County as the year progresses, GLACVCD officials said.

“Taking steps now to avoid mosquitoes is the key to a bite-free summer,” said Levy Sun, public information officer for the District. “Remove all standing water from around the home. Don’t wait until your next outdoor gathering is ruined, or, worse, someone gets sick from a mosquito bite.”

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days, and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash.

These symptoms can last for several weeks to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.

While West Nile virus is starting to pick up, another threat of the invasive kind is causing concern for vector control officials. The infestation of Aedes mosquitoes has taken hold of more than 20 communities throughout the District in L.A. County.

The Aedes mosquito is invasive to Los Angeles County and is efficient at transmitting (vectoring) Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever viruses. Those viruses are currently not transmitting from mosquitoes to people in L.A. County.

However, the importance of avoiding mosquito bites remains the same with Aedes mosquitoes as they are with native species that carry West Nile virus.

If residents are still experiencing mosquito problems even after dumping and draining all standing water, they can receive help from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit www.ReportMosquitoes.org.