LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A man in his mid-70s has died due to complications associated with the West Nile virus, the Long Beach Public Health Officer said Monday.
The death of the east Long Beach resident, who was hospitalized in October, marked the first from West Nile in Long Beach since 2004.
“The death of a Long Beach resident due to West Nile virus is a sad and sobering reminder of the risk posed by mosquito bites,” Dr. Mitchell Kushner said. “Even though summer is over and West Nile Virus season is winding down, warm weather can continue and mosquitoes can still be active. We should still take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and minimize the risk of … infection.”
Long Beach has reported six human cases so far in 2013.
There have been eight West Nile-related fatalities in Los Angeles County this year. Statewide, there have been 349 human cases reported, including 13 fatalities, as of Nov. 12.
To reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, health officials advise residents to take the following precautions:
· Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
· Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle.
· Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk.
· Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of 2.
· Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers.
· Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.
· Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Health Services by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird or online at http://www.westnile.ca.gov.