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West Nile Virus found in ‘explosion’ of mosquito population in St. Tammany Parish

Officials have collected positive samples of the West Nile Virus in mosquitos in St. Tammany...
Officials have collected positive samples of the West Nile Virus in mosquitos in St. Tammany Parish.(NBC Nebraska)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT
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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Officials have collected positive samples of the West Nile Virus in mosquitos in St. Tammany Parish.

According to officials, the samples came from a group of mosquitos collected from a trap in Covington.

The presence of WNV in mosquitoes indicates an elevated risk to people in the area, according to the parish’s mosquito abatement department. Positive pools of mosquitos are typically found this time of year.

People in the area should expect increased abatement efforts, including daytime work in roadside ditches and overnight spraying with trucks, airplanes, and helicopters.

Officials say there is a significant increase in the number of mosquitoes collected in traps over the recent weeks due to a large amount of rainfall.

Coastal areas in eastern St. Tammany Parish, particularly in Avery Estates, are experiencing a “population explosion.”

Biologists are inspecting marshy and surrounding areas to treat larvae before the population can increase further.

To reduce your risk of contracting WNV, avoid or minimize exposure to mosquitoes by wearing CDC recommended mosquito repellants, such as those containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus; avoiding peak biting times such as one hour before and after dusk and dawn; wearing long sleeve shirts and pants; and painting septic systems. Officials say once a week you should walk around your home, dumping and draining any standing water.

Residents who would like to be notified in advance of an aerial or truck treatment can register at www.stpmad.org to receive an automated message, by phone or text, when their zone is going to be treated. For additional information, please call St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement office (985) 643-5050.

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