Virus-Spreading Mosquitos Confirmed Locally

From The Los Feliz Ledger
October 31, 2017

West Nile Virus is on the rise across Los Angeles with 208 reported cases this year according to Los Angeles public health officials. Vector control authorities said chickens and mosquitos in Los Feliz have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks.

With chickens testing positive for the virus, it is likely there have been human cases in the area as well, according to a spokesperson with the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control.

The virus often goes unreported as people who are infected often show no symptoms or mistake it for a bad case of the flu, according to officials.

“The numbers that we see reported are probably just the tip of the iceberg. It’s likely that there are hundreds more cases every year,” said Levy Sun, a spokesperson with Vector Control.

Symptoms often include fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.

Only one in five cases will show any symptoms at all, but people who are already sick with a chronic illness such as cancer and those older than 50 may be affected more severely by West Nile symptoms.

“We are currently in an epidemic for West Nile virus,” said Sun. “Contrary to pop culture and perhaps the current news definition of ‘epidemic,’ we’re just saying that this is above average for the year. It’s not something to really panic about, but it’s definitely a cause for concern.”

There have been more than 200 reported cases of humans infected with West Nile Virus in Los Angeles this year, up from 153 in 2016, according to the Los Angeles County Public Health Dept.

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