Residents urged to take precautions.
The City of Santa Clarita issued a warning today, noting that the Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health and Rabies Control Program officials have found a dead bird in Santa Clarita. That bird, they say, tested positive for West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and can be contracted by humans or animals.
No human infections have been reported in the SCV.
The City says that preventing mosquito bites is imperative to keep the human infection number to zero.
Mayor Marsha McLean issued a statement saying; “Regarding the West Nile Virus, the public must remain vigilant and not let their guard down. To prevent human cases from occurring, the City is encouraging residents to take extra precautions and prevent mosquito bites, especially between dusk and dawn.”
The risk for any person getting sick from a singular bite is slim, however each bite must be treated properly. Those aged 50 and older are at the most risk.
Wearing long sleeved shirts during peak mosquito time and wearing repellent are good ways to help prevent bites. But in your own neighborhood, you can take steps to eradicate mosquitoes from your area.
Standing water is very attractive to mosquitoes, so clearing out those areas is very important. Also important is maintaining your pool and keeping an eye on abandoned or foreclosed homes with pools, as they can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The City also released the following tips for protecting yourself:
- Inspect front and backyards. Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week to break the mosquito life cycle.
- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
- Change the water in pet dishes and replace water in birdbaths weekly.
- Fix leaky faucets and sprinklers that may create puddles.
- Wear long sleeve shirts and pants outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using mosquito repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Keep tight fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes
- Pick up FREE mosquitofish at your local vector control district for placement in out-of-order swimming pools, spas, and ponds to control mosquitoes. Please call your local district before arriving to confirm mosquitofish are available.
A West Nile virus vaccine for horses is available and horse owners should contact a veterinarian about timely vaccination.
Dead birds, the City says, may be an indication of infection in a given area. Report dead birds to the CA Department of Health Services toll-free hotline at 877-WNV BIRD or visit on-line at: www.westnile.ca.gov .
For more information about the West Nile Virus in horses, contact (916) 654-1447. For more information about the West Nile Virus, please contact the LA County Department of Health Services West Nile Hot Line at (800) 975-4448 or the L.A. County Vector Control at (562) 944-9656 or visit: www.glacvcd.org.