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By Donna Littlejohn
A mosquito found this month near 22nd Street Park tested positive for the West Nile virus, the first confirmed sample found in San Pedro in two years, according to county officials.
This year is shaping up to be a busy West Nile season countywide. And the expected peak of the activ it y — late summer into early fall — hasn’t even arrived yet.
“Activity is heavier than last year,” said Levy Sun of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. He attributed that condition to factors such as warmer temperatures, bird migratory and population patterns and more standing water.
GLAC Vector Control is one of two districts monitoring the Los Angeles area. A smaller area, but one that includes Torrance, is overseen by the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District.
From January to July 28, 2015, the GLAC district, which includes parts of Carson and Long Beach and stretches as far north as the San Fernando Valley, found 26 positive mosquito or other samples. During the same period this year, he said, there have been 78 positive samples collected.
In addition to the San Pedro collection, another positive sample was found in May near Normandie Avenue and Artesia Boulevard in Gardena. Both a positive mosquito and positive bird sample were found in that location, Sun said.
And two sentinel chicken samples testing positive for the virus were also confirmed this month in Rolling Hills Estates, according to the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District.
Other positive samples have been found in Lakewood, Bellflower, Whittier.
Vector control officials on Thursday will begin conducting door-to-door awareness campaigns in high-risk neighborhoods, starting with an area in Sun Valley.
The samples indicate the possibility that the virus could be widespread throughout Los Angeles County. Residents are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to dump and drain any standing water once a week around homes.
Information and monitoring details, including lists of cities where the virus has been detected, can be found at www. glacvcd.org/ and at www.lawestvector. org/.
dlittlejohn@scng@com @donnalittlejohn on Twitter
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