Mosquito-Borne Diseases Education Campaign
Summer and fall not only bring hot weather to Los Angeles but also mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not just annoying, they can spread dangerous and sometimes deadly infections like West Nile and Zika virus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is launching a campaign to educate people about mosquito-borne diseases and how they can protect themselves and their communities from these threats.
West Nile virus can cause severe diseases like meningitis (brain infection), encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and limb paralysis. Each year, between 150 and 300 people in LA County have developed these diseases and some have died from their infection. The most severe illness occurs in persons over 50 years of age or those who have other health problems. While not all mosquitoes carry this virus, the type of mosquito that spreads this virus is found throughout LA County.
Zika virus is also a threat to LA County residents. Since Zika began spreading throughout Latin America, over 100 LA County residents became infected during travel to an area with a Zika outbreak - primarily Mexico and Central and South America. When a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, serious birth defects can occur, including the baby being born with a small head due to abnormal brain development. The mosquitoes that are able to transmit Zika have been found in many areas of LA County even though Zika is not currently being spread here.
People are urged to:
- Tip and toss containers that hold water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
- Keep pools and fountains clean.
- Use mosquito repellent while outdoors (spray, wipes, or lotion) especially at dawn and dusk.
- For pregnant women or women who may become pregnant: avoid travel to Mexico, Central America, or other countries with Zika until after your healthy baby is born.
View the flyer from the County of Los Angeles Public Health: pdf Flyer: I'ts Not Just A Bite (989 KB)