BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) –Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals confirmed Friday three new human cases of the West Nile Virus.
According to DHH officials, the three new cases come from East Baton Rouge Parish.
Health officials characterize West Nile infections three ways: neuroinvasive, West Nile fever and asymptomatic. Of the new cases reported, two were neuroinvasive disease and the other was West Nile fever.
DHH reports that East Baton Rouge Parish leads the state with seven cases of West Nile Virus, three of which are the more serious neuroinvasive disease. Ascension Parish has four cases of the virus also, while Red River Parish has one case.
To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, DHH offers the following precautions:
- If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing 20 - 30 percent DEET for adults and no more than 10 percent for children.
- 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 has tight-fitting windows and doors, and that all screens are free of holes.
Residents can also help control the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around their home, which is where mosquitoes breed. Louisianians are encouraged to follow these tips:
- Dispose of tin cans, ceramic pots and other unnecessary containers that have accumulated on your property. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools or buckets 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.
- Clean clogged roof gutters yearly. 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 that goes on vacation 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.