West Nile Virus symptoms can be misleading

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A San Gabriel Valley resident was hospitalized in May with the disease, which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Last year, more than 50 cases of West Nile reported in the county, but just two were positive in humans. Most people who contract the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

The four illnesses occurred in Los Angeles, Kern and Riverside Counties.

Once a week, eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding around your home, including water in bird baths, abandoned swimming pools, wading pools, old tires and any other object holding water.

Dr. John Lindbergh explains, "In this area if you have a encephalitis, either the Japanese encephalitis or the West Nile virus".

The first case of West Nile in Denton was reported in 2002.

Although more than 10,000 L.A. County residents are infected with the West Nile virus each year, most do not experience any illness or perhaps only mild illness.

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Public Health collaborates with local vector control agencies to target areas for mosquito control activities as well as educate people about how to protect themselves.

A mosquito bite could lead to many different types of diseases, whether rare or common. "Taking just a few minutes to remove any standing water from your yard, apply recommended mosquito repellents, and ensure your window and door screens are free of holes can help protect you and your community from this unsafe disease", said Jared Dever, District Manager of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. Some mosquitoes can even breed in the amount of water that fits in a bottle cap.

When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions.

When outdoors, wear protective clothing and apply an EPA-approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Stock garden ponds with goldfish or other mosquito-eating fish.

Ensure your window and door screens are tight and do not have holes, cuts or other openings.

West Nile virus by phone: (800) 232-4636.

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