West Nile Mosquito

Long Beach this week received its first report of the year that a human has contracted West Nile virus in the city, health officials have said.

The patient was diagnosed with neuroinvasive illness and is currently hospitalized, according to a Thursday, Oct. 10, statement from city officials. The statement did not disclose the patient’s gender, age or identity.

The news came after Long Beach celebrated a year with no reported cases in 2018. The the single case so far this year, though, still reflects milder activity than the city has seen in years past. There were 15 reported cases in 2017.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Signs and symptoms of the illness may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting or headache.

Most infected people show no symptoms. Roughly one in 150, however, may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis.

People with the above symptoms should seek immediate care, officials said.

Health officials also recommend taking certain precautions to prevent contracting the virus. Those include:

• Applying insect repellent with EPA-registered active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus before going outside;

• Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants if spending time outside during dawn and dusk;

• Installing or repairing door and window screens; and

• Dumping and draining standing water around the home.

For more information, go to longbeach.gov/wnv.

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