WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) — For the first time in 30 years, Orange County Vector Control said mosquitoes carrying Saint Louis Encephalitis have been found in Anaheim and Westminster.
“That’s pretty unfortunate,” Jessie Toler, a Westminster resident, said. “It’s scary. We’ve been getting bit the whole summer. Something needs to happen.”
While there have been no confirmed human cases at this time in Orange County, officials said they were concerned because the viral disease could cause long-term disability, brain swelling or even death.
Vector control has asked that residents eliminate potential breeding sources from in and around their homes, including draining potted plants with saucers and bird baths every week, getting rid of standing water and wearing insect repellent.
“Now that I know this, I will be more cautious of my surroundings,” Jonathon Duenes, a Westminster resident, said. “Knowing this worries me a little bit.”
The majority of infections result in mild illness, including fever, headache and nausea. When the infection is more severe, people may experience a headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors or spastic paralysis.