12 human cases of West Nile Virus in La. reported for 2019

12 human cases of West Nile Virus in La. reported for 2019
Five cases of the neuroinvasive disease have been reported in Louisiana. (Source: unsplash.com)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) have reported 12 human cases of West Nile Virus in Louisiana for 2019.

The first six cases of the neuroinvasive disease have been reported in the following parishes:

  • East Baton Rouge
  • Livingston
  • St. Tammany
  • Washington (2)

As of Sept. 14, two cases of West Nile Fever have been reported in East Baton Rouge Parish and two in Livingston Parish. There’s is also a case in Washington Parish. Two asymptomatic cases have also been reported, one in Caddo and one in Washington Parish. Those cases were diagnosed as a result of blood donation.

LDH said this time in 2018, 53 cases had been reported statewide.

"Human cases generally start the third week in June and this year, not to have those until the first week of August, that is atypical,” said Randy Vaeth, interim director of East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement & Rodent Control.

Vaeth says just because there have not been as many reported cases, people should not let their guard down.

“Wear repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants, it’s not exactly easy to do in August,” he said. “If you are having mosquito issues around your home and you’re in East Baton Rouge Parish, call us.”

The health department will update its website about documented cases here.

LDH offers the following information to protect people from West Nile Virus:

Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes

If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than two months. CDC recommends that you always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label when using repellent.

  • Apply repellent on exposed skin and clothing. Do not apply under your clothes or on broken skin.
  • To apply repellent to your face, spray on your hands and then rub on your face
  • Adults should always apply repellent to children
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors for long periods of time
  • Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors for extended periods of time
  • Make sure that your house has tight-fitting windows and doors, and that all screens are free of holes

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Reduce the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around your home, which is where mosquitoes breed.

  • Dispose of tin cans, ceramic pots and other unnecessary containers that have accumulated on your property. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys or anything that could collect water. Be sure to empty these containers each week.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed.
  • Check and clean roof gutters routinely. They are often overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

Anyone with concerns about mosquitoes in their yard should call EBR’s mosquito abatement. It provides inspection and spraying services free of charge for parish residents.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.