BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Seven cases of West Nile virus have been reported by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).
LDH said although the number of cases reported this year is similar to the last two years, more positive mosquito pools have been discovered in July and August compared to other years.
West Nile virus surveillance updates can be found here.
LDH suggests people protect themselves from mosquitos through the following:
- If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Children younger than 2 months should not wear insect repellant. LDH recommends that you always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label when using repellent.
- 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.
- Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors for extended periods.
- Make sure that your house has tight-fitting windows and doors, and that all screens are free of holes.
You can also protect your home, LDH says:
- 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, trashcans, children’s toys, saucers under pots, or any object that could collect water.
- Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed.
- Check and clean roof gutters routinely. Often overlooked, roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if allowed to stagnate.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not in use. 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.