Two New West Nile Virus Dead Crows From LB (90807 & 90804) + Three From Lakewood (90712 and 90713) + Two From Hawaiian Gardens (90716)
And More In Southeast LA County, San Gabriel Valley and Inland Areas
(July 2, 2004, updated additional details) -- Like miners' canaries, two new dead crows from LB have been identified in the past week as carrying the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus (WNV).
The LB WNV-infected birds were recovered June 21 from zip code 90807 in the 4200 block Chestnut Ave. and June 10 from zip code 90804 in the 5000 block of Federation Ave. in Rec Park. (erroneously ID'd on the state web site as zip 90808).
A WNV-infected dead crow was previously found in zip code 90808 (as reported by LBReport.com) on Rutgers Ave. between Bellflower/Clark and Spring/Wardlow, recovered June 7, tested positive June 17.
In addition, three WNV-infected dead crows were identified in ELB-adjacent Lakewood and two from Hawaiian Gardens. A WNV-infected Lakewood dead birds were recovered from 90712 on June 15, and two from 90713 on June 9 and 16. The WNV-infected Hawaiian Gardens dead crows were recovered June 17 from 90716
And another WNV dead bird was ID'd from Cerritos (90703).
All of the dead birds were American crows.
Bright purple X's on the map below (from the CA Dept. of Health Services via UC Davis) indicate WNV-infected dead birds ID'd over the past week. Dark black balls indicate previously identified WNV-infected birds.
Caveat: X locations on the state's map are not exact. We've complained about this and other inaccurate information indicated on their web site. We are posting the map as a general, albeit inexact, representation.
The news comes as the number of dead crows -- a forerunner of the disease appearing in humans -- continues to mount in eastern L.A. County cities and inland empire areas.
Like "miners' canaries," the dead crows (and other dead corvid birds susceptible to WNV like jays, ravens and magpies) indicate the number of WNV-infected mosquitoes is rising. If the mosquito population is not controlled, WNV will continue spreading from mosquitoes, to birds, to new mosquitoes. Eventually, the number of WNV-infected mosquitoes reaches the point where the likelihood of a person being bitten by a WNV-infected mosquito is high enough that human cases begin appearing. That's already happened in inland areas and the San Gabriel Valley...which first saw dead crows increase weeks ago.
As reported last week by LBReport.com, the CA Dept. of Health reported last week that a 71 year old L.A. County man from Arcadia experienced WNV fever and muscle weakness, while a 26 year old Riverside County man developed WNV related meningitis and had to be hospitalized. 8 other human cases in the inland empire area were reported a few weeks earlier.
No WNV positive mosquitoes have been identified in LB to date in 2004. A previous map indicating otherwise on the CA Dept. of Health's WNV web site has been withdrawn.
Health officials say the risk of serious illness to humans is low, with most individuals infected not experiencing any illness. However about 10%-15% of those infected will show symptoms including fever, headache and body aches...and less than 1% will develop serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis and meningitis. The elderly and those with lowered immune systems are more susceptible to serious illness.
The CA Dept. of Health Services says:
Individuals can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset.
- When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Apply insect repellant containing DEET according to label instructions.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.
- Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
The CA Dept. of Health asks the public to report any crows, ravens, magpies and jays that have been dead for less than 48 hours to CDHS' toll-free hotline: 1-877-WNV-BIRD.
"Individuals should take note of the bird's location and condition before calling for further instructions, including assistance with identifying the type of bird found. The bird should show no signs of decomposition or maggot infestation. While there is no evidence that people can get WNV from handling live or dead infected birds, individuals should not attempt to catch or handle them. If the local agency is unable to pick up the bird, individuals should use gloves, a shovel or newspaper to put it in a plastic bag and place it in the trash," the state agency said.
Recent LBReport.com coverage:
LBUSD Administrators Alerted to West Nile Virus Prevention Tips
Dead Crows, Possibly West Nile Virus Infected, Increasingly Visible in Cerritos
West Nile Virus Warning Signs Posted @ Lakewood Golf Course & Bolivar Park in Lakewood
Ground Zero For West Nile Virus: See Maps Showing WNV Totals & Recent WNV-Infected Dead Birds
It's Here: Dead Crow w/ West Nile Virus ID'd in LB; Residents Again Urged to Take Precautions
ELB Email to LBReport.com Cites Add'l Standing Water
More WNV Infected Crows in Cerritos...And First CA 04 Human Case in San B'dino County
West Nile Virus Expert Says We're In Midst Of Largest Mosquito-Borne Virus Outbreak in North American History & Biggest West Nile Virus Outbreak Ever Documented in the World
Editorial: Biting Back: Our Suggestions Re WNV in LB
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