West Nile Kills 2 in LA County
Los Angeles County health officials confirmed Tuesday that two people have died from complications caused by West Nile virus.
Both fatalities were elderly adults from southeastern LA County, according to Health Chief Dr. Jonathan Fielding.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that this year’s number of cases is the highest since 2004. There have been 3,969 cases reported nationwide and 163 deaths, including 121 cases in California and 10 fatalities.
Incidences of West Nile Virus typically occur in the summer and the fall. While 80 percent of cases typically show no symptoms, the disease can become life-threatening. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, and paralysis. There is no specific treatment for the virus.
Most often, West Nile Virus is spread through mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become affected when they bite infected birds and can then spread the disease to humans and other animals.
Fielding urges California residents to take preventative measures by removing any pools of stagnant water that have gathered in places like flower pots and birdfeeders near their homes, to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. The CDC recommends installing screens on windows and doors and to wear bug spray when going out during peak mosquito times at dusk and dawn.