Officials are urging New Orleans residents to rid their properties of any standing water after detecting West Nile virus in mosquitoes. The city’s Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board reported the finding Friday evening (July 13).
No human cases of the virus have been reported. This is the second time in 2018 the city has indicated the presence of West Nile, the first being on June 23.
The city traps mosquitoes at locations around the city, and the insects are tested periodically for the presence of diseases. Mosquito Control did not specify the location at which the West Nile virus was detected, but officials have stressed in the past that the presence of a mosquito-borne virus in one part of the city doesn’t reduce the risk in another — or indicate a greater threat for the immediate area.
West Nile virus cycles between wild birds and mosquitoes, specifically the Southern house mosquito, which can transmit it to humans. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito experience no symptoms, but the virus can be problematic for people 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems.
Residents should limit their time outdoors between dusk and dawn to reduce their mosquito exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are advisable for anyone who plans to spend a length of time outdoors. Mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus are recommended.
Mosquito Control will continue to apply insecticide and larvicide to keep mosquitoes from developing, according to a statement from the city. It takes just seven days for mosquito larvae to develop into adults, so residents are encouraged to make weekly checks of the yards to eliminate any water that pools in areas such as birdbaths, pet dishes, plant containers and idle fountains. Discarded tires, tarps and trash cans are also potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Mosquito issues can be reported to the city by calling 311 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.