First case of West Nile Virus reported in Long Beach


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In this file photo, pictured is a Aedes albopictus female mosquito obtaining a blood meal from a human host. Under experimental conditions, the Aedes albopictus mosquito, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, has been found to be a vector of West Nile virus.

The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season has been reported in Long Beach this week. The patient was diagnosed with neuroinvasive illness and is currently hospitalized.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most infected people have no symptoms; however, approximately one in 150 may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.

Long Beach health officials are advising residents to take the following precautions:

• Prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellent with EPA-registered active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus before you go outside.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if spending time outside during dawn and dusk. WNV-carrying mosquitoes are most active during those times.

• Install or repair door and window screens.

• Dump and drain standing water around your home.

• Report mosquitoes and learn more about mosquito prevention by visiting or calling (562) 570-4132.

• Report dead birds online at

While Long Beach has seen mild WNV activity in the past two years compared to prior years, residents are reminded that WNV remains a serious health threat locally. Residents are encouraged to protect themselves against mosquito bites. The low case count in Long Beach corresponds with a mild WNV season in California, with 128 human cases, including three deaths, reported statewide compared to a five-year average of 304 cases by this time of year.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit