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2 Studio City residents infected with West Nile virus

August 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two people living on the same street in Studio City have contracted West Nile virus, and a neglected pool may be to blame.

A blood test confirms 17-year-old Javin Reid has West Nile. A few weeks ago, Reid developed a rash on his back and noticed a swollen gland on his neck. He also says he felt sick but he did not know why.

"I had a really bad nausea period where I just threw up a lot," he said.

Debbie Davis, a neighbor of Reid's, says she felt exhausted two weeks ago, but she chalked it up to working a lot.

"It was like I had been awake all night but I hadn't. So I knew something was wrong but it just didn't really click," she said. "And I thought, 'Well, I'm just going to donate blood anyway as planned.'"

Davis says that's when the Red Cross informed her she, too, has West Nile virus.

Davis and Reid believe a neglected swimming pool at a foreclosed home on their street has been a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry the deadly virus.

Reid's father, Tony, photographed the pool in May and contacted Bank of America and the county public health department. But he says nothing was done.

"The more time goes by, squatters move in," said Tony Reid. "They apparently interfere with vector control and gain access to the pool; more time goes by."

He says vector control gained access to the pool this week, but he and his neighbors are convinced mosquitoes carrying the virus are still in the neighborhood.

The Reids have citronella candles and a bug zapper to guard against mosquitoes, and they are staying in-doors as much as possible.

"It's kind of frustrating because it could have been resolved earlier and I wouldn't have been sick," said Javin Reid.

Both Reid and Davis are expected to recover and they say their symptoms have improved.

This summer has brought one of the largest outbreaks of West Nile ever recorded in the U.S., with four times the usual number of cases. So far this year in Los Angeles County, five people have died from West Nile.


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