First human case of West Nile reported in St. Tammany Parish


West Nile Virus (WGNO)

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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WGNO) –The West Nile virus has made its way to St. Tammany Parish this summer. In fact, one person in Slidell tested positive for the virus. It’s something the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District is taking very seriously.

“It’s important, we basically get to monitor what the virus is doing as far as West Nile. If we get positives, we can notify the public, we can take the proper precautions,” said Josh Foulon, a biologist with the Mosquito Abatement District.

The Mosquito Abatement District kills larvae in roadside ditches to prevent adult mosquito’s from surfacing. Adult mosquito’s meantime, are targeted by ground and aerial treatments.

You can do your part to rid your area of mosquito’s as well. It’s recommended you clear your property of standing water, considering it’s these dormant areas that the Southern House Mosquito prefers as a breeding ground.

The Southern House Mosquito is the most common carrier of the virus.

We’re told the Asian tiger mosquito is another species that’s capable of transmitting West Nile and although no positive cases have been reported, biologists are targeting this breed as well.

It’s an added precaution intended to keep you safe.

The vast majority of people infected with the virus don’t have any symptoms.

Still, 8 to ten percent of those affected may experience flu-like symptoms.

“Only about a half percent of the people, one in 200 that are bitten by an infected mosquito will actually come down with the severe case,” said Chuck Palmisano, the Mosquito Abatement District Director.

Severe cases can be potentially deadly.

That’s why baiting these mosquito traps throughout St. Tammany is so important, allowing scientists to figure out where the virus is coming from to rid the area from these pests and the West Nile virus too.

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