A dead American crow found in Santa Monica has tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNV), indicating that the virus is active in the mosquito population here, as it is in 56 zip codes in L.A. County, according to City officials.
Health authorities advise area residents to take the following precautions: eliminate standing water and avoid over-watering; install mosquito-proof tight-fitting screens on windows and doors, avoid spending time outside at dawn and dusk; wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time; use insect repellents containing 25-35% DEET, and follow all instructions on the product label.
80 percent of the people who contract WNV will not show any symptoms at all, some 20 percent who become infected will display mild symptoms, including fever, headache, and body aches that last a few days. Less than one percent will suffer a more severe infection, which may be marked by additional symptoms, including neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and, in rare cases, death.
People who develop symptoms such as high fever, confusion, muscle weakness and severe headaches should see their doctors.
Neglected ponds, pools, spas, etc. should be reported to the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District at (310) 915-7370. For more detailed information about West Nile Virus, visitwww.lawestvector.org, www.lapublichealth.org/acd/vectorwestnile or www.westnile.ca.gov.