DHH reports new case of West Nile virus - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

DHH reports new case of West Nile virus

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© MGN Online © MGN Online

LOUISIANA (KALB News Channel 5) - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting one new West Nile case this week, bringing this year's total number of cases to nine.

The recent occurrence is of a neuroinvasive disease case in Ouachita Parish.

 Humans can contract the virus when they are bitten by mosquitoes.  The virus can infect people in three ways:

  • Neuroinvasive disease is the most serious type, infecting in the brain and spinal cord could occur, it could lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.
  • West Nile fever, the milder viral infection in which people experience flu-like symptoms.
  • Asymptomatic, the most common, which means they show no symptoms.

 These cases are typically detected through blood donations or in the course of other routine medical tests.

About 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever. Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with the neuroinvasive disease. Residents who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection.

This year, Ouachita Parish has reported two cases of neuroinvasive disease and Caldwell and Calcasieu parishes each have one case of neuroinvasive disease.

SAFETY TIPS

Protecting Yourself

  • If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months. CDC 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 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.  

Protecting Your Home

  • 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, trash cans, children's toys or anything 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. 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 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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