Eleven more West Nile Virus cases have been confirmed in Louisiana, raising the state total to 23. That includes two more cases from Caddo Parish, doubling its previous total. It also includes a case in Bossier Parish.
Bryan Glascock begins yet another day of hunting for disease-carrying mosquitoes in Caddo Parish. "Mosquitoes (are) attracted to CO2 and they also are attracted to light and there's a fan that blows down into this," demonstrated Glascock as he held-up a mosquito trap before hanging it onto a nearby tree.
As a Caddo Parish mosquito biologist, he took us to one of four so-called 'hot spots' where testing recently revealed the presence of the West Nile Virus. This one can be found just west of the Querbes tennis courts in Shreveport's Broadmoor area, just off Stephenson Street.
Once the mosquitoes are collected out in the field they are typically put in a freezer and gathered in little tubes. Those tubes, known as pools, can each hold anywhere from a few dozen to a hundred mosquitoes. Those samples are then sent down to a state lab in Baton Rouge for testing.
Some of Shreveport's other hot zones are found in Queensborough. The West Nile Virus has been here before. Just ask the owners of "Hayes & Stringer Flower Shop," located at the corner of Hearne Avenue and West College Street.
Florist Katherine Stringer paused from her work of loading a van with flowers, to speak with us. She recalled, "just right next door, our next door neighbor Mr. Saul, that was the cause of his death was West Nile."
That was four years ago. Saul was among the 42-Caddo Parish residents who contracted the potentially fatal disease, the highest for any parish or county in the country at the time.
Caddo Parish now spends 400-thousand dollars a year to combat the mosquito threat. Glascock conceded, "we're always going to have West Nile. We're going to have a couple cases probably every year. But, will it be forty cases or will it be less than five? I guess that's the big question."
To prevent big numbers again, Glascock told KSLA News 12 that his department has doubled the amount of spraying in those 'hot zones.' And he said the threat won't end until probably the end of October, as temperatures begin to fall.
If you want to report areas where there is standing water or mosquitoes, call the Caddo Parish Mosquito Control. Their number is: (318) 226-6627.Story by Jeff Ferrell