Guard Against Mosquito Bites: Officials

Fears of West Nile virus prompt warnings over Labor Day weekend

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    Fears of further West Nile virus infection in LA County this summer have prompted warnings to guard against mosquito bites this Labor Day weekend.

    Twenty-seven mosquito samples and four dead birds collected throughout Los Angeles County tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

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    The first human death linked to the mosquito-borne virus in LA County this year was confirmed by health officials Thursday. They're warning residents that water in a flower pot is enough to host a breeding ground for the virus. Hetty Chang reports from Carson for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on Aug. 1, 2013.

    In addition, five more surveillance chickens tested positive for West Nile virus antibodies.

    So far this year, officials have reported 267 positive mosquito samples and 63 dead birds.

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    Officials say a heavy concentration of birds and squirrels have tested positive for West Nile virus in the South Bay, prompting Los Angeles County Vector Control to warn area residents of the disease and how to avoid it. Toni Guinyard reports from Carson for NBC4’s Today in LA on Thursday, August 1, 2013.

    In addition, a total of 17 surveillance chickens have shown antibodies for West Nile virus.

    Tips to prevent mosquito breeding and guard against mosquito-transmitted

    • Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs and anything that holds water for more than a week.
    • Change the water in pet dishes and birdbaths weekly.
    • Ensure that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained and report neglected pools in your neighborhood.
    • Request free mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in out-of-order swimming pools, spas and ponds.
    • Wear insect repellent containing active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin or IR3535 when outdoors where mosquitoes are present.

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