Get your mosquito repellant if you haven't already because the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has reported the state's first human West Nile virus case of the year.
DHH said the case was confirmed in St. Bernard Parish on Thursday, but the good news is it was not serious.
The woman tested positive for asymptomatic West Nile after giving blood. It is a routine screening to make sure tainted donations don't make it into the blood supply.
The woman did not get sick and would not have even known she had the disease if she had not been told by health officials.
"West Nile virus is spread to humans through mosquito bites," Dr. Ratard said. "No matter what time of year it is, and no matter how active the season, it is important for residents to take preventive steps to control the mosquito population near and around homes and play areas, and try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes."
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.
Mosquito Population Control
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 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.
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