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Antonovich calls for new West Nile Virus prevention effort

Posted: July 20, 2010 3:55 p.m.
Updated: July 20, 2010 4:45 p.m.
 

Los Angeles County - Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has introduced a motion calling for multi-agency coordination in preventing a possible West Nile Virus epidemic.

Antonovich called for the motion in response to the discovery of a dead bird in the Santa Clarita Valley which tested positive for the virus.

Supervisor Antonovich's motion would direct the Department of Public Health and Public Works to investigate and clear open water ways where mosquitos breed, exterminate active breeding areas, and educate the public on West Nile Virus prevention.

"Los Angeles County is committed to preventing this virus from growing to epidemic proportions," Supervisor Antonovich said.

According to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, the best defense against disease transmission is being proactive and taking precautions to protect from mosquito bites.

Antonovich recomends taking the following steps to protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus:

* Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. 

* Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when engaging in outdoor activities during these hours. 

* Apply approved insect repellents containing active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. 

* Eliminate all sources of standing water around your property and maintain ornamental ponds, pools, and spas properly. 

* Request free mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in out-of-order swimming pools, spas, and ponds to control mosquito breeding.

* Contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or online at glacvcd.org to report any significant mosquito problems in your neighborhood. The District strongly encourages you to report any mosquito activity near vacant or foreclosed homes and abandoned swimming pools in your neighborhood.

Additionally, the public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile Virus surveillance and control efforts. According to Antonovich, birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading the virus.

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