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Last Year’s West Nile Virus Season was Longest in Los Angeles History| #LACounty

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In addition to Los Angeles County’s ongoing water and homeless issues, our region faces yet another daunting challenge – longer and longer seasons during which mosquito-borne diseases are active.

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In fact, this past year Los Angeles County saw the longest ever-recorded season of West Nile Virus – clocking in at just about 30 weeks – beating the previous record of 23 weeks, set in 2003 when the virus was first discovered in our region. Here in Los Angeles, West Nile typically spreads in the summer and fall before dying down in the winter.

This longer season translated to an unusually high number of West Nile cases, with 266 reported cases and 27 deaths.

Experts were hesitant to place the blame on a specific cause, citing the impact of the warm temperatures we saw last November and December on everything from the travel paths of birds, mosquito breeding behavior, and even human nightlife – all factors that impact the number of infections.

We recommend these simple safety steps to protect yourself and your community:

  • Remove all standing water on your property; that is where mosquitoes breed.
  • Ensure rain barrels are properly sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
  • Ensure all screens around your home are in good repair to keep mosquitos out.
  • Wear loose long sleeve shirts and long pants to prevent mosquitoes from biting you.
  • Wear insect repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Stay indoors during the hours of dusk and dawn, when many mosquitoes are most active.

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