West Nile virus (WNV) activity has reached epidemic levels throughout Greater Los Angeles County. High levels of WNV activity in mosquito and bird populations increase the risk of disease transmission to humans.
In response to this serious public health threat, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) is planning to launch its second door-to-door public outreach and mosquito control campaign this week. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and extend control and surveillance operations in order to safeguard residents against mosquito bites and virus transmission.
This campaign will target what District scientists have identified as ‘hotspots’ of West Nile virus activity. Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights, Reseda and Van Nuys have been carefully selected based on their high mosquito infection rates. The comprehensive door-to-door campaign took place in Diamond Bar yesterday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in Hacienda Heights.
Staff members will be notifying residents of the West Nile virus activity in their area, providing them with instructive brochures, and offering to conduct yard inspections for mosquito breeding sources. Bilingual Spanish/English door hangers will be left at homes where in-person contact cannot be made.
While community education and outreach is being escalated in areas of heightened activity, operational staff continue to deploy available resources and strategies to target mosquito populations below ground, in the underground storm drains, and above ground across the District’s diverse urban landscape.
“We hope our efforts will help increase awareness in the areas at highest risk for West Nile virus transmission. But, we also want to emphasize that virus activity is prevalent all throughout the County, so residents everywhere should take proper precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites this summer,” says Director of Community Affairs Truc Dever.
The District had similar levels of high virus activity in the epidemic years of 2004 and 2008, which correlated to a high number of recorded human cases. The District hopes outreach and control efforts this year will help reduce the number of human cases of West Nile virus. The campaign is not only meant to alert residents to this year’s serious West Nile virus threat, but is also a call-to-arms for people to apply insect repellent and eliminate mosquito breeding sources around their homes.