SURVEILLANCE, PREVENTION, AND TESTING OF WEST NILE VIRUS

    

The health department has several programs with responsibilities in the surveillance, prevention, testing and investigation of West Nile Virus.  In close collaboration with the California State Department of Health Services and local Vector Control Districts, surveillance of birds, sentinel chicken flocks and mosquito pools are being increased.

WNV is spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito; a mosquito is infected by biting a bird that carries the virus.  Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus and most people bitten by a mosquito have not been exposed to the virus.  The virus is NOT spread by person -to-person contact or directly from birds to humans.  Last year, it was also demonstrated that WNV infection could be transmitted through infected transplanted organs and blood products.  It should be noted, these newer methods of transmission represent a very small proportion of WNV cases.

"Control of West Nile infection over the long-term will require the collaboration of state and local government agencies, as well as increased vigilance by the public to eliminate sources of stagnant water where mosquitoes may breed,"  said Jonathan Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., Public Health Director and County Health Officer.

Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County.  Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control and community and family health and comprises more than 3,800 employees with an annual budget exceeding $465 million.

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City of Calabasas 2014