BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - CORRECTION: The Louisiana Department of Health originally reported one of the cases of West Nile Virus was in Tangipahoa Parish. That particular case is actually in Livingston Parish.
The first human cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus of 2018 have been reported in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).
Three cases of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, the most serious type of West Nile, have been found in Desoto, St. Tammany, and Livingston parishes.
West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease infects the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death, paralysis, and brain damage.
One case of West Nile Fever and has been reported in East Baton Rouge and Ouachita parishes.
West Nile Fever is a milder viral infection in which people experience flu-like symptoms.
One case of Asymptomatic West Nile has been reported in East Baton Rouge Parish.
According to LDH, the majority of people who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic, meaning they will show no symptoms.
Asymptomatic West Nile is usually detected through blood donations.
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 percent 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.
The LDH urges residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes with the following steps:
- 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 had tight-fitting windows and doors, and that all screens are free of holes.
Also, residents should eliminate mosquito breeding grounds around their homes:
- 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.
- Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collected 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.
The East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement office is ramping up efforts in areas where West Nile-positive mosquitoes are found. On July 13th tests came back positive for mosquitoes trapped in Broadmoor, Sherwood Forest, City Park, the residential area west of Lee Magnet High School and the area near Plank Road at Mohican Street.
Data from the office indicates that about six out of every 1,000 mosquitoes likely carry West Nile. That number is expected to rise as the summer wears on.
Low-flying aircraft spray small amounts of insecticide over targeted ares of the parish twice per week, and technicians regularly treat ditches and storm drain basins, the parish's 180 sewer treatment plants, and homes of residents that request free yard sprays.
Call the Mosquito Abatement office at (225) 356-3297 for more information.