More Birds Down, Mosquito Spraying Up

West Nile virus warning signs have been posted at the Lakewood Golf Course, Bolivar Park in Lakewood and at El Dorado Park and Heartwell Park in Long Beach after nearby mosquito pools tested positive. Spraying along the San Gabriel River began this week in an effort to reduce West Nile virus-carrying mosquitos in the river by 70 percent. Mosquitos that bite infected birds can transmit the virus to humans and animals. Long Beach area birds have tested positive for West Nile virus, most in four zip code areas: 90805, 90807, 90808 and 90815. Most people with West Nile virus experience no symptoms. Some may become ill, experiencing flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, nausea, skin rash or swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms can last up to three weeks. Less than 1 percent of those infected may have neurological symptoms. It is estimated that 1 in 150 people infected will require hospitalization. There is no approved vaccine. To report a dead bird, especially a crow, call the California Department of Health West Nile Hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD to have it removed and tested. Don’t pick it up by hand. Use a shovel and put it in a plastic bag. If you see standing water that would be a breeding place for mosquitos, eliminate it. If it needs to be sprayed for mosquitos, call LBDHHS Vector Control at 570-4132. Mosquitos are most active at dawn or dusk. Wear loose, light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants outdoors. Use mosquito repellant containing DEET. Keep screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitos from entering.