It’s swimming, cookout and mosquito season. Here’s how to keep the little buggers at bay

Stay safe with these tips from the Long Beach Department of Public Health.

It’s swimming, cookout and mosquito season. Here’s how to keep the little buggers at bay
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Besides making people itch, mosquitoes can carry a variety of viruses and parasites, including those that cause West Nile and Zika fever and malaria.

While most of those diseases are rare here in California, public health officials regularly urge precautions because in a small percentage of cases, they can cause severe illness or death.

So far this year, there have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Long Beach, but in September 2023 Long Beach had one confirmed case and Los Angeles County reported a person in the San Fernando Valley died from a neuro-invasive disease related to West Nile virus.

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Last year, the 367 reported West Nile cases in California ranked the state second in the nation, after the 626 cases reported in Colorado, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And state data shows that as of June 7, the virus has been found in three times as many mosquito samples this year compared with the same period in 2023 — 52 positive samples this year versus 15 last year.

So how can people reduce their potential exposure to mosquitos while enjoying the outdoors this summer? The Long Beach Department of Public Health offered a few tips.

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If you have a pool, keep it clean and chlorinated, and keep the pool cover free of standing water. For inflatable pools, water slides and other toys, dump them out after use and scrub them weekly.

Regularly empty and scrub outdoor pet water dishes and bird baths. Limit how much and how often lawns and outdoor plants are watered, and drain any standing water from trays under potted plants and other outdoor containers.

Use bug repellent to prevent bites.

Green or neglected swimming pools and increased mosquito activity can be reported to the city online at www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes or by calling 562-570-4132. Dead birds should be reported to the state Department of Public Health at 877-968-2473 or www.westnile.ca.gov.

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