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Protect your loved Ones: Preventing Mosquito Borne Illnesses in LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn

It's up to all of us to prevent mosquito borne illnesses from spreading in LA County.

Mosquitos aren't just annoying- they're dangerous. In fact, mosquito borne illnesses kill LA County residents every single year. Luckily, there are ways we can protect ourselves from mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry.

Scroll down to read up on West Nile Virus and Zika Disease, learn the latest prevention tips, and find out which LA County resources to contact if you need help.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

What is it?

The West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the Culex mosquito after it feeds on infected birds. While the vast majority of people who contract the virus don't experience symptoms, it can be deadly in rare cases.

Am I at risk?

Yes, residents living in LA County risk exposure to the West Nile Virus. Most people who contract the virus, however, don't experience any symptoms. People at most risk of serious illness are the elderly and those with certain medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and kidney disease.

The Culex mosquito is especially active from dusk to dawn so be sure to cover up and wear bug spray after the sun goes down.

What are the common symptoms?

For the small percentage of people who do become sick after contracting West Nile Virus, symptoms can include fever, headache, rash, muscle weakness, and nausea and vomiting. Of those who do show symptoms, a small minority develop potentially deadly neurological symptoms such as limb paralysis, tremors, altered mental status, and encephalitis (a deadly swelling in the brain).

I'm worried I may have West Nile Virus. What should I do?

Consult your primary care doctor immediately if you think you may be infected. There are no vaccines or treatments for West Nile Virus. Over-the-counter pain medicine can be used to lower fever and relieve other symptoms while you wait to see your doctor.

No doctor? Visit an LA County Comprehensive Health Center near you!

Zika

Zika Virus

What is it?

Zika is a disease that spreads to people primarily from the bites of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The disease can also be spread from mother to child or through sex.

Am I at risk?

While no mosquito in LA County has been found to carry the Zika Virus, it's important that everyone takes precautions to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

Residents who travel outside to Mexico or Central America should take extra precautions and consult with their doctor prior to traveling. Check out the CDC's travel tips for more information.

Baby on the way? Stay in LA! Because the Zika Virus can be spread from mother to child and cause significant birth defects, pregnant women or women who want to become pregnant should not travel to areas affected by Zika.

What are the common symptoms?

Most people infected with Zika show no signs of illness. For those who do show signs of illness, symptoms include mild fever, joint pain and rashes which lasts about a week.

However, if a pregnant woman becomes infected with Zika, her baby might be born with debilitating birth defects including microcephaly .

I'm worried I may have the Zika Virus. What should I do?

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika. If you think you may be infected with Zika, consult your primary care doctor right away.

No doctor? Visit an LA County Comprehensive Health Center near you!

Protect your loved ones from mosquito borne illnesses

Prevention Tips

It's up to all of us to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus and Zika Virus here in LA County.

Get rid of standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Once a week, empty things that collect water like pet bowls, bird baths, and potted plants.

Cover up: Mosquitoes tend to be especially active between the hours of dusk and dawn. If you are outside during these times be sure to wear long sleeves and full-length pants.

Wear repellant: Experts recommend using insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol.

Mosquito-proof windows: Mosquito-proof windows and doors by installing screens. Repair any holes in existing screens and limit the time doors and windows are left open.

County Resources

LA County is here to help

Bird Surveillance: Some bird species, like crows, get very sick from West Nile Virus and usually die from it. By testing birds for WNV, we can track the virus in our environment. Report newly dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks, falcons, owls online or call 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473).

Report a potential mosquito breeding situation: please contact the appropriate Mosquito Abatement District or city public health department. Click HERE to find your local Mosquito Abatement District.

Report standing water in potholes or in the public right of way to the LA County Department of Public Works. (Unincorporated LA County only).

Learn more about Zika Disease and West Nile Virus from LA County's Department of Public Health

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