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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Mosquitoes Carry Virus

October 01, 1987

Mosquitoes trapped in the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area in late August were infected with the St. Louis encephalitis virus, the first appearance in the San Fernando Valley this year of the sometimes deadly disease, the Los Angeles County Department of Heath Services reported Wednesday.

Health officials urged residents to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds--stagnant, unchlorinated water that has collected in containers ranging from tin cans and old tires to rain gutters and decorative ponds.

The virus--also detected this summer in blood samples taken from pigeons in Norwalk and the La Brea Tar Pits--is carried by birds and transferred by mosquitoes. The disease, which results in inflammation of the brain and nervous system, sometimes causes high fever, headache and weakness, although the symptoms often are mild.

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