A person can be infected with the dengue virus from an infected Aedes mosquito, health officials say.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (CNS) -- Long Beach health officials Wednesday confirmed the city's first locally acquired case of the mosquito-borne dengue virus, which is normally associated with people who have traveled outside the country.
The local case is only the second of its type reported in California, with the first being reported roughly two weeks ago by health officials in Pasadena.
Long Beach officials insisted the risk of local exposure remains low, and the patient is recovering at home.
"The health and well-being of the community is our most important priority," Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement. "We are working closely with health officials to do everything we can to prevent more cases. We ask that everyone do their part by removing any standing water on their property to help us control the mosquitoes in our neighborhoods."
Health officials said a person can be infected with the dengue virus from an infected Aedes mosquito. Dengue cases in the United States typically occur in people who have traveled to countries where the disease is more common, but neither the Long Beach nor Pasadena patients had any history of recent travel.
Long Beach health officials said most patients never exhibit any symptoms, but one in four will develop signs including fever, nausea, vomiting, rash and aches and pains to the eyes, joints or bones.
The symptoms generally last no more than a week, and people usually fully recover within two weeks. Deaths from the virus are extremely rare, health officials said.
"We are taking many steps to prevent mosquito-borne infections in Long Beach," city Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. "Outreach teams are visiting the neighborhood where dengue was identified to provide information on mosquito bite prevention and ways to control mosquito breeding around the home. Health Department staff continue to trap and test mosquitoes in nearby areas to look for infected mosquitoes and are intensifying efforts to reduce breeding and control mosquito populations."
Health officials urge residents to take steps to prevent and reduce mosquito populations, such as:
-- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs, or anything that holds water for more than a week.
-- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
-- Change water in pet dishes, birdbaths, and other small containers weekly.
-- Report neglected swimming pools to vector control district.
-- Wear insect repellent containing CDC and EPA approved active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
-- Wear loosely fitted, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.