Ten mosquito samples collected from six communities in the San Fernando Valley tested positive for West Nile virus, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District announced Monday.
The samples were collected in Encino, Northridge, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys, said Kelly Middleton, the district's director of community affairs.
"We are beginning to see the anticipated increase in West Nile virus activity in the region," Middleton said. "Last week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported a total of six human infections in the county so far this year, so the time to start taking this seriously is now."
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Residents, business owners and property managers are encouraged to ensure no standing water is permitted on their property and to remove or seal items where mosquitoes gather, including yard and parking lot drains, air conditioner drip pans and buckets, rain barrels, unused swimming pools, plant saucers and old tires in an attempt to stop the spread of West Nile virus.
The district recommends residents use Environmental Protection Agency registered repellents, including DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus, to prevent bites and the risk of disease transmission.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito and is a leading cause of severe infections of the nervous system among adults over 50 in Los Angeles County, Middleton said.
There is no cure for West Nile virus.
More information is available at the district's website, www.glacvcd.org, or by calling (562) 944-9656.