1st West Nile death of 2019 reported in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The first death from West Nile virus in Los Angeles County in 2019 has been reported, health officials say.

A South Bay resident was recently hospitalized and died from the mosquito-borne disease, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Health officials have documented nine cases of West Nile in Los Angeles County this year, but this is the first death.

Many people who are bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus do not develop symptoms or feel sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1 in 5 infected people develop fever and other symptoms. About 1 in 150 develop serious or potentially fatal illness.

RELATED: Summer heat brings increased concerns about West Nile virus in Los Angeles County

Health officials encourage the public to take steps to eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes and to wear insect repellent while outdoors.

"West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County," said Los Angeles County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis.

"We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items. Residents should protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products, especially during the peak mosquito season which lasts from June to November in Los Angeles County."

RELATED: 'Ankle biter' mosquito becoming more common in SoCal

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The Aedes aegypti, also known as the ankle biter or yellow fever mosquito, has become more common in Orange County in recent years.

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