Boyle Heights -- A sample of mosquitoes captured earlier last week here tested positive for West Nile virus -- the first time the disease has been detected in Boyle Heights this year, according to health officials.
The bite of an infected mosquito can spread the virus to people and animals. There is no cure for West Nile, which can cause fever, headache, body aches, nausea and even death in the most severe cases, according The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District
So far the agency has collected 28 samples that have tested positive with the virus. West Nile was first detected in Boyle Heights on Sept. 6 but a specific location was not provided by the agency.
More than 62 human cases of West Nile have been reported in California so far this year, four of which were identified in L.A. County, according to health authorities.
The vector control district advises these steps to help limit the breeding of mosquitoes and the spread of the disease:
- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.
- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
- Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly.
- Request mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
- Wear EPA-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.
- Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.