The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed its first positive West Nile virus mosquito sample of the year. The sample was collected in Encino.
Statewide, 91 positive mosquito samples have been identified this year in six counties, compared with five counties at this point in 2011.
"This is a reminder that West Nile virus continues to be a problem here in Los Angeles County,'' district director of scientific-technical services Susanne Kluh said in a written statement. "We can anticipate more activity as the season progresses.''
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through bites from infected mosquitoes.
Kruh suggested the following steps to curb mosquito-breeding habitats:
Eliminate standing water in clogged gutters, barrels, buckets, discarded tires, troughs or any thing 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 at least weekly.
Request free mosquito-eating fish from local vector control districts to place in out-of-order swimming pools, spas and ponds.
Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood.
Report mosquito activity near vacant or foreclosed properties.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, when someone is infected with West Nile virus they will typically have one of three outcomes: No symptoms (most likely), West Nile fever (about 20% of people) or severe West Nile disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis (less than 1% of those who get infected).