Oh $%#!: West Nile Infected Dead Crow Found In ELB Zip Code 90815
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(May 27, 2005) -- Bad news on the doorstep: a dead crow infected with the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus (WNV) has been found in ELB zip code 90815.
LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services says it's the first dead bird confirmed positive for WNV in Long Beach this year. It's unknown where the bird became infected by a mosquito carrying the virus (crows can travel long distances) but LB's Health Dept. says it was found dead within LB's 90815 zip code...which stretches from Spring St. to PCH between Redondo Ave. and the OC line, but doesn't include CSULB.
In 2004, initial reports of dead crows in May turned into dead crows virtually citywide by late July and August.
Based on last year's experience, WNV-positive dead crows are the first indication that WNV-infected mosquitos are somewhere in the general area. The WNV infected mosquitoes are the risk to people, not the dead crows.
Last year, dead crows were followed by confirmation of the presence of WNV infected mosquitoes in LB. That hasn't happened in 2005 in LB...yet.
In 2004, WNV-infected mosquitoes were found at (among other places) ELB's Heartwell Park and El Dorado Park...where officials posted warning signs.
Last year, in the area of Wardlow Rd. and Clark Ave., an elderly woman died after being bitten by a WNV-infected mosquito; fifteen other LB residents contracted the illness and based on statistics, many more are believed to have been infected. This year, there have been no human cases of WNV reported in LB...yet.
Most otherwise healthy people don't show symptoms, but for some people, serious illnesses can result.
"Symptoms of WNV infection typically begin between 7 to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito, and consist of fever, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. Elderly and immune suppressed individuals are at much greater risk for developing serious WNV illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)," LB's Health Dept. says in a written release.
The LB Health Dept. release continues:
Public Health Officials are continuing to monitor and treat public areas to prevent the spread of infection in Long Beach and urge residents and business owners to protect themselves and their neighbors by following a few simple guidelines:
- Remove pools of standing or stagnant water, which provide a breeding ground
for mosquitoes. Some common sources of stagnant water are debris piles,
buckets, barrels, kid’s toys, and tire swings. Mosquitoes need water to complete
their life cycle, and they breed most actively in stagnant water.
- Clear gutters and drains of standing water.
- Change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Maintain swimming pools and spas with proper filtration and chlorination levels.
Green or dirty pools can breed thousands of mosquitoes in a week’s time,
unnecessarily increasing the population’s risk of contracting WNV.
- Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to
gutters and around sprinklers.
- Limit your time outdoors when you notice mosquito activity primarily at dusk and
dawn. If you remain outdoors wear clothing that provide more skin coverage such
as long sleeved shirts and pants.
- Use mosquito repellents containing 10-30% DEET when outdoors and especially
between dusk and dawn. The repellent should be sprayed on clothing and
exposed skin. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with
your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations to be used on children
under the age of two. Some non-DEET repellent products, which are intended
to be applied directly to the skin, may also provide protection from mosquito
bites. However, because studies have suggested that other products do not offer
the same level of protection, or that protection does not last as long as the
products that contain DEET, the CDC recommends that products that contain
DEET should be used when possible.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens and are in good
American crows and other birds are susceptible to WNV infection, and may be carriers
of the virus, which can infect mosquitoes. Residents are encouraged to report dead
birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD.
Because of State of California Department of Health Services (DHS) policy, if authorities do not pick up the bird within 24 hours, residents are being advised to dispose of the bird remains. Residents are advised to not handle dead birds with their bare hands. A shovel, cardboard or plastic bag can be used to handle the bird, and it should be placed in a plastic trash bag for disposal.
If you have any questions regarding mosquito control and monitoring measures in Long
Beach, contact the DHHS’ Vector Control Program at 570.4132 or visit
To report standing curbside water that has been present for longer than two days,
please call the Vector Control Program or the City of Long Beach Public Works at
Further information about the WNV may be obtained at the State of California
Department of Health Services website at www.westnile.ca.gov , or at the Federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile
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