Long Beach Reports 1st Human Case of West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus Mosquitoes Return Early To California

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Long Beach health officials today confirmed the city's first human case of West Nile virus this year.

The unidentified patient was diagnosed with neuroinvasive illness and remains hospitalized, according to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.

West Nile is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms from contracting the disease can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, according to the department. The symptoms can last for several days to months.

Health and vector-control officials urge residents to take steps to mitigate mosquito bites and eliminate habitats, including:

-- eliminating standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week;

-- ensuring that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained;

-- changing the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly; and

-- wearing insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.

Long Beach residents can get more information on the virus at www.longbeach.gov/wnv.

Los Angeles County health officials earlier this month reported the county's first death from West Nile, adding that there have been nine documented human cases of the illness. The county figures are separate from Long Beach, which has its own health department and maintains its own data.

Photo: Getty Images

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