Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever initiated Wednesday a High West Nile Virus (WNV) awareness campaign for the San Fernando Valley. The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) wants to educate the public and inform them on the prevention methods and dangers of WNV.
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The “Van Nuys and Northern Hollywood areas” will be receiving the door to door campaigns, Dever said. Campaigning is set to begin Thursday of the Glen Community. All residents in the Los Angeles County are encouraged to be aware of the WNV risk and learn the proper precautions. “Almost every community in Los Angeles County” is at risk because this location is “endemic” to the WNV, Dever said.
The GLACVCD is focused on working with the community to “remove backyard threats” and become more “proactive,” she said. In comparison to last year, the WNV has increased its risk in humans, birds and mosquitoes.
WNV is a mosquito borne virus that began in Africa and spread to the Eastern United States in as early as 1999. Mosquitoes become infected after they bite into an infected bird and then carry the disease and spread to humans and other animals from a bite. Residents can take precautions against the WNV by going inside at dawn or dusk, using mosquito repellants, and dumping water that has been neglected for three days.
Symptoms of WNV may occur from three to 14 days after the infected bite and include headaches, body aches, fevers, nausea and more. Pets, such as cats and animals, can be infected in the same manner as humans. However, they are more tolerant than humans.
If other animals such as birds, horses and tree squirrels are found dead it is important to report this to 1-877-WNV-BIRD. These types of sightings indicate the virus is active in the community in which they are found. Many people have no symptoms, while others may experience mild to severe symptoms.
There is no cure for the WNV which is why people should take extra precautions during this high risk time. For more information regarding statistics, preventions and other FAQ go to the California Website for the West Nile Virus.
Additional information can be found by contacting the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District or by calling 562-944-9656.
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Source: Santa Clarita News