A dead American crow collected in Culver City last week has tested positive for West Nile Virus, reports the Los Angeles County West Vector-Borne Disease Control Unit.
According to the Disease Control Unit, West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they first feed on birds that carry the virus, and then bite a human or animal.
The Disease Control Unit says the City is not required to take any specific action but recommends that people take precautions if they are walking or sitting outside at dawn or dusk to protect themselves from being bitten by infected mosquitoes.
Residents can protect themselves from WNV by doing the following:
- DEET - Apply insect repellent according to the label. Repellents containing DEET, picaradin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the longest lasting and most effective. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you.
- DAWN AND DUSK - Mosquitoes that carry WNV primarily bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent at this time.
- MOSQUITO PROOF YOUR HOME - Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- DRAIN - Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flowerpots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained. If you have an ornamental pond, use mosquito fish. You can make an arrangement to pick up free mosquito fish at the District by calling 310-915-7370.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds to help with West Nile virus surveillance and control efforts. Dead birds should be reported to the toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD (877-968-2473).
Symptoms of West Nile virus:
People infected with WNV can experience a variety of symptoms that may include: no symptoms, West Nile Fever, or West Nile Neuroinvasive disease. Symptoms usually occur 2-15 days after infection.
Symptoms of “West Nile Fever” can include:
- Headaches (often severe migraines)
- High fever
- Tiredness and body aches
- A skin rash and swollen lymph glands
These symptoms may last from several days to several weeks.
Symptoms of “West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease” can include:
- Severe Headache
- High Fever
- Stiff neck
- Tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness
- Coma: This form of the disease can lead to long lasting and/or permanent damage to the brain.