West Nile Virus Found in More Mosquitoes, Birds

The news comes a day after the first confirmed death from the virus in Southern California

Thirty-seven more mosquitoes and nine dead birds with West Nile virus were found in Los Angeles County, from the western San Fernando Valley to the South Bay, health officials said.

The news came a day after county officials confirmed the area's first human death from West Nile virus this year -- a 78-year-old Carson man whose family said he died from the virus Tuesday.

Mosquito samples with the virus were detected from Canoga Park in the western end of the valley through Van Nuys and Arleta to Sunland at the east end, officials at the Los Angeles County Vector Control District said.

In the Los Angeles Basin, infected mosquitoes were found in a wide swath from Long Beach north through Signal Hill, Downey, Cerritos, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk, then north into the San Gabriel Valley cities of Hacienda Heights and South El Monte.

Dead birds with the virus were found in San Pedro, Downey, Tarzana and Long Beach.

Family members said Albert Shipman died from the virus Tuesday at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro after being hospitalized for about two weeks.

Health officials have identified 13 human cases of West Nile in the county so far this year, including six people who never developed symptoms but were flagged after donating blood.

The virus is passed to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, which can contract the disease by feeding on infected birds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fewer than one in 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito become severely sick.

But in those cases, the virus can cause encephalitis or even death. About 20 percent of those infected could get a fever, headaches, nausea or other symptoms.

Dead birds may be reported by calling 877-968-2473 or at the Vector Control Department's website. Stagnant swimming pools or "green pools" should be reported to the Public Health Environmental Health Bureau at 626-430-5200, or by calling a local vector control agency.

More information on West Nile Virus is available at 800-975-4448 or on the state's website.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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