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1st case of West Nile in L.A. this year

April 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the first time this year in Los Angeles County, a mosquito has tested positive for West Nile virus. According to the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District, the infected mosquito was part of a sample of insects collected from the 90745 zip code, which is made up entirely of the city of Carson.

Statewide, there have been other cases of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile, all of them in Contra Costa County in northern California. Two dead birds were found to be carrying the virus in Orange County.

So far this year, there have been no reported cases involving humans. Last year, there were 445 human cases of West Nile virus, leading to 15 deaths.

L.A. County Vector Control has warned that 2009 is likely to be an active season for the disease.

Mosquitoes carry the greatest risk of transmission to humans. Consequently, people are encouraged to take the following steps to reduce their exposure: eliminate standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed; stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active, in the evening and early morning hours; and apply insect repellant containing DEET when going outdoors. Get more information about West Nile virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention