PASADENA, Calif.—Currently, there are no locally acquired cases of West Nile Virus in Pasadena, but the number of cases in California are on the rise: so far 36 cases statewide and five within Los Angeles County. The Pasadena Public Health Department is working closely with state and county health officials to monitor the situation and the Department is also proactively monitoring its local mosquito and vector control efforts to help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus, which is spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Two Registered Environmental Health Specialists (REHS) within the Department’s Environmental Health Unit are certified "Gold Class" by the California Department of Public Health to conduct vector control activities. Collectively, the City’s Environmental Health staff has more than 60 years of experience in vector control and in other environmental health hazards.
To help control the local presence of mosquitoes, Health Department staff travel throughout Pasadena at least once a week to treat gutters, puddles, pools and other free-standing sources of water that serve as prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. More than 250 swimming pools have been inspected this year.
In addition, for the past decade, the Health Department has worked closely with the Pasadena Police Department in a collaborative "Green Pool" initiative in which the crews aboard Pasadena’s police helicopters use aerial observations to spot stagnant swimming pools and other green-standing (still) water sources where mosquitoes might be breeding.
Dr. Eric Walsh, Pasadena Health Department Director, urges the public to take an active role in helping to prevent and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Dr. Walsh recommend everyone check for, and empty, all standing water containers left outside; keep swimming pools clean and filters in operation; and regular check for mosquito larvae in bird baths, outdoor ponds and other water features.
When outdoors, the public can protect themselves by wearing bug repellants containing DEET; wearing long-sleeved pants and shirts at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; avoiding known mosquito-infected areas and making sure your window screens are in good repair to prevent entry points into your home for insects.
For more information about Pasadena’s vector control program, to receive free mosquito fish to help prevent breeding or to report a stagnant swimming pool or other still-water source, call the Department’s Environmental Health Unit at (626) 744-6004. If after business hours, please be sure to leave a message and call-back number.
Pasadena Public Health Department is celebrating 120 years of protecting and promoting public health in the greater Pasadena area. For more information about the City of Pasadena, go online to www.cityofpasadena.net.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2012, #063-12
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: William Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager's Office, (626) 744-4755, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Statice Wilmore, Public Health Department Public Information Officer, (626) 744-6051, email@example.com