West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, May 25 (Xinhua) — Health officials announced on Friday that they detected the West Nile virus in mosquitoes in the Los Angeles area.     Tests performed by the California Department of Public Health and University of California in Davis confirmed that this is the second mosquito sample in the Los Angeles area to test positive for the virus this year.

    In January, mosquitoes found in the city’s Rowland Heights were found to have West Nile virus. Two dead birds collected in the area earlier this year were also found to have the virus.

    “If you are outdoors during the Memorial Day weekend between dusk and dawn, make sure you protect yourself from mosquito bites,” said Minoo Madon with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

    To prevent the spread of West Nile, people should wear long sleeve shirts and pants outdoors at dawn and dusk, and ensure that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained.

    West Nile is spread to humans from the bites of infected mosquitoes, which catch the disease by biting birds that carry the virus. The virus cannot be spread by person-to-person contact or directly from birds to people, according to health officials.

    In most cases, people who catch the virus either become sick or experience mild symptoms, including fever, headache, nausea and body aches.

    There is no treatment for West Nile virus, which can be fatal in extreme cases.

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