Local mosquitos infected with West Nile Virus, city gives tips to stay bite-free

Health

NEW ORLEANS — Mosquitos infected with the West Nile virus (WNV) have been collected from traps on the East Bank of New Orleans.

The Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (LADDL) at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine reported the finding after discovering the infected mosquitoes in Orleans Parish.

Residents are told to expect increased mosquito abatement efforts immediately – weather permitting.

No human WNV cases have been reported in Orleans Parish this year.

West Nile virus cycles between wild birds and mosquitoes and can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

While the majority of WNV infections are asymptomatic, the virus can cause serious symptoms, especially for individuals that are older than 65 or immunocompromised.

For additional information regarding West Nile virus, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/prevention.htm.

SAFETY TIPS

Protecting Yourself

  • Reduce mosquito exposure by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Use air-conditioning and make sure window and door screens are in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.  
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside.
  • The CDC recommends using repellents containing EPA-registered active ingredients including DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
  • When using repellent, always follow the recommendations on the product label.

Protecting Your Home

  • Eliminate standing water around your home. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
  • Remove trash and clutter and dispose of discarded tires and containers. Turn over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys, and anything that can collect water.
  • Change water weekly in containers that cannot be removed, such as pet dishes or bird baths. Scrub the side of the containers each week to remove any eggs that have been deposited.
  • Rain barrels and other water collection devices must be screened, and collected water should be used within one week.
  • Aerate ornamental pools, fountains and sugar kettles, or stock them with fish.
  • Report illegal dumping, water leaks and unattended swimming pools by calling 311.

Tires collect leaf litter and are easily filled with water by rain, providing an ideal breeding site for mosquito larvae. Eliminating scrap tires will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat.

  • Residents can place up to four tires weekly stacked curbside next to their household trash cart on the second collection day. Call 311 to arrange for a pick up.
  • Tires in front of abandoned lots will not be collected; they must be moved in front of a residence with curbside collection.
  • Residents can also bring up to five tires to the City Recycling Drop-off Center, located at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month.

A free Integrated Mosquito Management webinar will be offered March 6 at 11 a.m. CST.

Please visit www.nola.gov/mosquito to register.

Report any mosquito issues to 311.

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