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If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Friday, June 28, 2013

West Nile Virus Detected in Long Beach; City Health Officer Encourages Residents to Take Precautions

Crows feeding
Crows feeding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
West Nile Virus Detected in 
Long Beach;
 City Health Officer Encourages Residents to Take Precautions

West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in two American Crows in East Long Beach, near El Dorado Park.  The birds were tested by the State Department of Public Health’s WNV Surveillance System, which monitors the disease in humans, horses, chickens, mosquitoes and dead birds.  This year (2013), WNV activity has been detected in 20 counties in California, including WNV positive birds and mosquitoes in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. 

No human cases of WNV have been detected in Los Angeles or Orange Counties; however, one human WNV case was detected in Sacramento earlier this year. In 2012, 479 human WNV cases, including 20 deaths, were reported in California.  Long Beach had no WNV deaths in 2012, and only one human WNV case reported.   

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache.  Most people infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis.  Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate medical care.  

The WNV infected birds were found in the section of the City served by the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District (GLAVCD).  The Long Beach Health Department has confirmed that GLAVCD will be increasing surveillance and treatment of active mosquito breeding areas.  The Long Beach Health Department Vector Control Program, which serves the western portion of the City, will also be increasing surveillance and treatment services in response to this information. 

Long Beach residents can assist by taking precautions to protect themselves and neighbors from the virus. Long Beach City Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, encourages all residents to protect themselves and others by taking the following precautions: 

· Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
· Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water interrupts the mosquito life cycle.
· Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk.
· Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of 2.
· Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers.
· Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to prevent run off to gutters and around sprinklers.

Report dead birds and dead tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health by calling 1-877-WNV-Bird or online at For further information, contact the City of Long Beach Health Department, Vector Control Program, at 562.570.4132 or online and click on “West Nile Virus.”  Join us on Facebook at Further information about WNV may also be obtained at the California Department of Public Health website at, or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

City Health Officer Reminds Residents to Keep Cool this Weekend

The City Health Officer for the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department), Dr. Mitchell Kushner, is advising residents to take precautions against the heat. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the low to mid-90’s beginning today through the weekend in Long Beach, and even higher temperatures in other parts of Southern California.

“It’s important for people to be familiar with and practice heat precautions to protect themselves from heat-related illness and injury, especially while participating in outdoor activities,” said Dr. Kushner. 

The elderly, those with chronic illnesses, infants and young children are at greater risk for heat-related conditions.  However, everyone should take precautions to reduce the risk of heat related illness and injury:
    · Remain hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after outdoor activities;
    · Take frequent breaks while working or playing outdoors;
    · Wear loose-fitting, light clothing; wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face, ears and neck if you’ll be outside;
    · Apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen prevents skin cancer.
    · Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid beverages that have caffeine or alcohol;
    · Plan strenuous outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day; limit time outside during peak heat;
    · Pace physical activities, starting slowly and picking up the pace gradually;
    · Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts.
    · Seek air-conditioned environments during peak heat at stores, malls, theaters, etc. – a list of the city’s cooling centers and schedules can be found at;
    · Check on frail elderly or home-bound individuals to make sure they are not affected by the heat;
    · Move to a cooler location at first sign of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps); rest and slowly drink a cool liquid;
    · Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or asleep in the direct sunlight;
    · Make sure pets have plenty of shade and water to drink.
    · Prevent children from drowning by providing adult supervision at all times and having an entry-proof barrier that surrounds the pool or spa.

For more information on how to stay healthy during hot weather, please visit the Health Department’s website at
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Why There Are No Fireworks at Vets Stadium Since 2011

Why There Are No Fireworks 
at Vets Stadium
Long Beach Firefighters Memorial Association
 Cancelled Show in 2011
Just a reminder, there will be no fireworks at Vet's Stadium again this year. The LB Firefighters Memorial Association -- which for 54 years presented July 4th fireworks at ELB's Veterans Stadium (Clark Ave. @ Conant St.) cancelled the show in 2011 because they fell short of fundraising goals which was caused by a combination of the economic downturn and many people choosing to watch from neighborhoods instead of paying.

They have moved their fireworks show to Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. See
The cost for adults for dinner is $30 and $10 for children.

The City of Long Beach does not fund fireworks shows. On the eastside, you can see fireworks from Lakewood. If downtown you can see fireworks off the Queen Mary and probably still have a view of the Alamitos Bay fireworks.

Maybe next year, the public can help raise money to restore a fireworks show at Vets Stadium.

Save Station 18

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