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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | BRIEFS

West Nile virus advice

August 10, 2004|Bonnie Obremski

Add the West Nile virus hotline to the speed dial. The state Department of Fish and Game is warning outdoor enthusiasts in Southern California about exposure.

Don't touch sick or dead animals. Move carcasses with a plastic bag or gloves. Prepare and cook meat properly to avoid infection. Wear pants and long sleeves on hikes and use insect repellent with DEET to ward off mosquitoes, primary virus carriers.

Some victims experience flu-like symptoms, but less than 1% require hospitalization. A Fullerton man died of West Nile virus in June, a Grand Terrace man died last week and a third fatality is suspected in L.A. County. Call the hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD or go to www.westnile.ca.gov.

-- Bonnie Obremski

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