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West Nile virus found in Northridge, Silver Lake, Whittier and Winnetka

The Aedes albopictus mosquito, also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito, has been found to spread West Nile Virus.
The Aedes albopictus mosquito, also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito, has been found to spread West Nile Virus. James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District confirmed today it has uncovered six more mosquito samples carrying the West Nile virus. Three samples were found in Northridge and one sample each was found in Silver Lake, Whittier and Winnetka.

So far this year, district researchers have identified 10 positive West Nile mosquito samples and one positive dead bird.

Truc Dever, spokeswoman with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, urges residents to search their gardens and yards for containers — like flower pots, buckets or barrels — and dump any amount of stagnant water.

"Anything, even a small bottle cap that has some water stagnant in there for three to four days, could potentially be a mosquito breeding source," Dever said.

Dever says that, depending on the weather, mosquitoes can develop from an egg to a biting adult in one week.

How residents can reduce the threat of West Nile virus in their neighborhoods:

• Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.

• Ensure that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained.

• Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly.

• Request free mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in out-of-order swimming pools, spas and ponds.

• Report mosquito activity near vacant or foreclosed homes.

• Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash.

To reach the California Department of Public Health, call 1-877-WNV BIRD or go to www.westnile.ca.gov.

This story has been updated.

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