West Nile Virus Found in Griffith Park Mosquitoes

A sample of mosquitoes taken near Griffith Park tested positive for West Nile virus, county officials said today, just weeks after a West Nile-positive dead bird was found in the Los Feliz area.

According to the CDC, West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, and can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Vector Control District said the mosquito sample was collected somewhere in the 90027 ZIP code.

Residents taking part in outdoor activities were advised to take precautions, including:

-- wearing light-colored, long, loose clothing;

-- staying indoors at dawn, sunset and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active;

-- applying repellent while outdoors; and

-- using mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or staying in an unscreened structure.

Residents were encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Deparmtent of Health Services' hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD.

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