What is it?
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus most commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and other mammals.
It is estimated that 20% of people who become infected will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms of severe infections include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease.
- Avoid outdoor activity, especially between the hours of 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to prevent mosquitoes from biting.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET according to label instructions.
- Keep doors and windows closed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
- Check your property and eliminate any source of standing water where mosquitoes might breed.
- Birds play an important role in spreading the virus by infecting the mosquitoes who transmit the virus to humans. If you find a crow, raven, magpie, jay, sparrow, finch or hawk that has been dead for about a day, report it to the toll-free West Nile Virus hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).
The links below will provide valuable information to Southern Californians:
California West Nile Virus Surveillance Information Center
Department of Health Services Press Release
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention