West Nile Threat Failing To Fade This Fall

westnileEven with fall in the air, the threat of West Nile disease shows no signs of diminishing.

Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported 11 new cases and one death.  The state calls the outbreak the worst in a decade.

“People expect to see West Nile cases slow down because we’ve started having subfreezing temperatures. But, it’s important to recognize that mosquitos can hide in culverts or other sheltered areas, then reemerge when the weather gets warmer,” said DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein.

Of the 11 new cases reported, only one was from the New Orleans area – in Orleans Parish.

This year, Louisiana is reporting 328 cases far with 24 deaths.

State health workers encourage people to take precautions.  They say mosquitos that spread West Nile are most prevalent at dawn and dusk, and they are urging people to make sure their homes have tight fits around doors and windows.

The DHH is suggesting people wear clothing with long sleeves and pant legs.  Also, health workers say people should use mosquito repellent when outside and that the repellent should contain DEET.

But the state cites recommendations from pediatricians that children should not use repellent with more than 30% DEET.  Insect repellents are not recommended for children younger than two months.

WGNO News Anchor Curt Sprang reporting