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West Nile confirmed in two Newhall mosquitoes

Posted: June 22, 2012 6:15 p.m.
Updated: June 22, 2012 6:15 p.m.
 


Two mosquitoes collected in Newhall tested positive for West Nile virus this week, and officials are warning residents to take precautions against mosquito bites this summer.

The mosquitoes are the first to test positive in the Santa Clarita Valley this year, according to a spokeswoman for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

Last week, the district reported its first positive mosquito sample for the year in Encino. Throughout the state, 168 dead birds and 124 mosquito samples have tested positive for the disease, which causes symptoms in one in five people infected by the virus.

"Your risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus increases as the population of infected mosquitoes increases," said Truc Dever, vector control director of community affairs. "We're seeing a dramatic proliferation in West Nile virus activity this year in California, so it's important that residents take all precautions necessary to protect against mosquito bites this summer."

The West Nile virus - which has no cure - can cause fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, according to Dever.

Symptoms can occur between five and 15 days and can last for several weeks to months.

Those highest at risk for serious complications - including high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and even death - include the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. People with these symptoms should contact a physician as soon as possible after a mosquito bite.

Residents are asked to protect themselves and their families by eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, avoiding outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent if they are outside at dawn and dusk, according to vector control officials.

kjonas@the-signal.com
661-287-5517

 

 

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