Health Officials Issue Warning as West Nile Deaths In LA County Climbs To 16

There have been 222 cases of West Vile Virus in Los Angeles County.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA — The number of deaths caused by West Nile virus has climb to 16 this week.

There have been 222 cases of West Nile virus reported so far this year with 190 of the patients needing hospitalization, according to the latest report by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. Fourteen new cases were reported this week.

The number of cases already surpassed the total of West Nile virus cases in 2016 when there were 153 reported and six deaths, according to the report.

The virus is most commonly spread through mosquito bites during mosquito season, although some patients will get the virus in November, according to public health officials. About one in five people will get a fever, while one in 150 people could die from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As of Oct. 24, there 1,622 cases of West Nile virus in the U.S., according to the CDC.


Los Angeles County health officials warned residents to protect themselves against the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus, as the number of people killed by the disease in L.A. County this year reached sixteen

The department launched a campaign Monday called “It’s Not Just A Bite” to try to raise awareness about mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile.

Though most people with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms, a small number experience paralysis and brain damage that can be permanent or fatal. People who are at least 50 years old or have compromised immune systems are the most likely to suffer from these severe consequences, experts say.

L.A. County health department officials reported sixteen deaths this year so far. A resident of Long Beach was also killed by West Nile this year but was not included in the tally because the city has its own health department. State data show that there have also been two West Nile deaths in Yolo County and one each in Kern and San Bernardino counties.

LA County vector control agents will go door-to-door Thursday in Encino in an education effort.
Encino continues to have elevated West Nile virus detection.
Please make sure there is no standing water on your property.
Mosquitos breed in as little as a tablespoon of water.

Most people infected with West Nile virus do not become seriously ill, but some experience flu-like symptoms.
About 1 percent of them can develop a serious neurological illness. People who are 50 and older
or who have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure are at elevated risk.