With the recent discovery of three dead birds at Valencia Meadows Park testing positive for West Nile Virus, the City of Santa Clarita would like to remind residents that there are precautions that can be taken to prevent the spread of West Nile to the human population.
First and foremost, residents should be aware that West Nile Virus is not a communicable disease – it cannot be spread from person to person and it cannot be transmitted from animals to humans. West Nile Virus can only be transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes. The City reports that the mosquitoes in the Santa Clarita Valley have not tested positive for West Nile.Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is actively monitoring the mosquito population and is investigating potential breeding grounds for the tiny insects.
Vector Control is also currently spraying the area surrounding Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley to kill mosquito populations in that area. Residents of Santa Clarita are asked to inspect their property for any areas of standing water and to drain the areas promptly to avoid breeding mosquitoes. Residents should also properly maintain swimming pools and spas by filtering, cleaning and chlorinating regularly. They should also routinely check and empty any containers that may hold water in their yards since these areas can all become potential mosquito breeding sources.
Additionally, when outdoors for an extended time, it is recommended that residents wear insect repellent containing the ingredient DEET. It is also advised that residents check their window and door screens for holes through which mosquitoes could enter homes. “The West Nile Virus is an issue that we now have to learn to live with in our environment,” said Donna Nuzzi Emergency Services Supervisor for the City. “With the help of the Greater LA County Vector Control, and simple prevention steps taken by our local residents, our community can protect itself from the West Nile Virus.”Although the disease in not communicable, as a precaution, dead birds, particularly crows and other corvids, should be avoided.
To report a dead bird, contact Los Angeles Country Vector Control at 877-WNV-BIRD (9682473). Dead birds can also be reported online at http://westnile.ca.gov. Not all birds will qualify for testing, and those not removed by Vector Control within 24 hours should be placed in the trash. To remove a dead bird, residents should wear latex or rubber gloves and place the carcass in a plastic bag. The bag should then be sealed and discarded. For more information on West Nile Virus, or on what the Country is doing to keep the community safe, please contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 1-562-944-9656 or online, at www.glacvcd.org.