Veterinary Public Health


Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
vet@ph.lacounty.gov
Adobe Reader
Get Adobe Reader icon
Note: PDF documents on this site were created using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later. If you are using an earlier version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (4.x or less), document functionality may be reduced.
 
West Nile Virus (WNV)

crow
 
YOU CAN HELP TRACK
WEST NILE VIRUS IN BIRDS

Click here to learn about reporting dead birds.

What is West Nile virus (WNV)?

  • It is a virus that can infect both people and animals

  • Several species of animals can be infected by WNV, including: birds (especially crows), horses, and some reptiles

  • WNV is an imported disease in the United States. In 1999, the first human and animal cases of WNV were found in New York City

  • It appeared in Los Angeles County for the first time in 2002

    • Since then, WNV infects people and animals every year in Los Angeles County

  

How is WNV transmitted to people/animals?

  • Both people and animals get infected with WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito

  

What are symptoms of WNV?

  • In people:

    • Most people infected with WNV do not get sick, in some cases flu-like symptoms may develop (fever, headache, nausea). Very rarely, the virus can infect the brain and cause more severe symptoms.

    • Click here to know more about WNV infections in people.

  • In animals:

    • Birds - Most birds do not get sick from the virus, but may be able to infect mosquitoes that bite them. Crows, ravens and jays may become very ill and die rapidly after infection.

    • Horses - WNV can cause severe neurologic signs in horses, such as: weakness, limb paralysis and death

    • Dogs and cats - Dogs and cats rarely get sick from WNV

    • Other - Tree squirrels can also get sick from the disease

  

What is the treatment for WNV?

  • There is no specific cure for WNV infection

  • Treatment in people is usually supportive

  

What should I do to protect myself from WNV?

  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes

    • Wear long-sleeve shirts when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dusk and dawn

    • Empty standing water around your house twice per week to stop mosquitoes from breeding

    • Use mosquito repellent

  • Horse owners should vaccinate their horses

 

Reporting dead birds: 

 

Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Veterinary Public Health program (VPH)

vet@ph.lacounty.gov

Phone: 213-989-7060

Fax: 213-481-2375 

  

 

WNV DATA IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

 

Since its first appearance in Los Angeles County in 2003,  WNV has caused infections in animals and humans every year. 

 

Monitoring WNV in birds can serve as an early-warning system for human infections:

  • Crows die of WNV before cases in humans appear

  • Areas with high numbers of affected crows reflect higher risks of human infection

 

 

2015-2017 Dead Birds WNV graph thropugh Aug 2017

    2017 WNV dead bird data:

Icon version of 2017 WNV bird map LA County

      (click map for more info)

 

 

 Previous WNV maps:

2016 2012  2009
2015 2011 2008
2014 - no map 2010 2007
2013    

                         

Data collection is based on passive reporting. Dead bird reports were received by VPH. Until 2013, dead crows were tested in-house; other bird species and squirrels were submitted to a different laboratory for testing. At this time, VPH is no longer able to test individual crows for WNV.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

WNV in California - California Department of Public Health (CDPH) West Nile virus website

 

WNV in the US - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) West Nile virus page

 

For physicians - Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACDC) West Nile virus page

 

Other useful information

Mosquito Control in Los Angeles County

 

Flyers and brochures

West Nile Virus Palm Card - English, Español

West Nile virus Frequently Asked Questions

Fight the Bite! - California Department of Health Services (Available in: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Khmer, Hmong)

 

Last updated: September 15, 2017

 
 
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services