Orange County Officials Warn of West Nile Virus After Positive Mosquito Tests in Huntington Beach
(James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)

Orange County Officials Warn of West Nile Virus After Positive Mosquito Tests in Huntington Beach

Officials in Orange County are cautioning residents after mosquito samples tested positive for the West Nile virus for the first time this year.

The infected mosquito samples were collected in Huntington Beach, a historically high-risk area for West Nile virus activity, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD).

“Conditions across the region are favorable for sustained virus activity during the warm summer months,” said Amber Semrow, OCMVCD Director of Scientific and Technical Services. as reported by KTLA.

The West Nile virus, which can be deadly, is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus when feeding on infected birds.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Older individuals and those with existing health issues are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Those most susceptible to complications include people over 50, individuals with diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, immunocompromised persons, organ transplant recipients, and those with a recent history of chemotherapy. Severe infections can lead to conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis. report from Yahoo.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for West Nile virus disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.

In Huntington Beach, the infected mosquitoes were collected in an area bordered by Newland Street, Adams Avenue, Bushard Street, and Atlanta Avenue. Officials said they will continue to monitor the area, conduct inspections, and implement control measures to prevent additional mosquito breeding. Advisory signs will also be posted in the affected areas. told by ABC7.

“It’s essential that community members do their part to dump and drain standing water,” said OCMVCD Public Information Officer Brian Brannon. “Residents can also protect themselves and their families by using EPA-registered repellent, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and spreading the word to friends and neighbors.”

To prevent mosquito bites, officials recommend the following tips:

  • Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week.
  • Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly.
  • Dump water from potted plant saucers.
  • Wear repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home; repair broken or damaged screens.

“At present, Orange County has not reported any human cases of West Nile virus,” the release stated.

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