West Nile Virus (WNV) is on the rise, climate change blowing at its back as mosquito-carrying virus peddlers grow exponentially in our neighborhoods. Los Angeles County had the most new reported human cases of the disease this week--13--out of the 17 human cases in California. Los Angeles is second to Sacramento, which leads in WNV overall cases. There have been 3,146 human cases and 110 deaths in California since 2003.
To help prevent spread of the disease we're supposed to clean up (or report to Vector Control) stagnant water. Wear bug spray or bug-resistent clothing around dusk and dawn when mosquitos are more plentiful, and report dead squirrels and birds to Vector Control, for they are often the first sign of a WNV problem. 1-877-968-2473.
From the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District Website
West Nile virus (WNV) West Nile virus is transmitted to humans, horses, birds, and other animals by the bite of an infected mosquito during blood feeding. A mosquito is infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. The virus is not spread through person-to-person contact but can be passed through blood transfusions. Fewer than one out of 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito get severely ill. In most cases people who are infected do not become sick or show symptoms. The virus can, in rare cases, cause encephalitis and death. The mortality rate is 3-15% and varies depending on the age and condition of the health of the victim. The elderly are most at risk for severe cases of the disease. There is no specific treatment for WNV. In a serious case, an individual may be hospitalized to ensure good supportive care. A WNV vaccine is available for horses.
The butterfly photo has nothing to do with mosquitos. Yet it's pretty and what I have. Monarch mating photo I took in British Columbia.
To follow my clean air search and explore air pollution solutions together, subscribe to the Chasing Clean Air RSS feed!