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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Human case of West Nile Virus discovered in Lafourche Parish

Human case of West Nile Virus discovered in Lafourche Parish

Lafourche Parish Government, through the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, would like to alert residents that a human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Lafourche Parish.

A north Larose resident living near LA Highway 308 was found deceased last week, and state officials have confirmed West Nile Virus antibodies were discovered in his system.

Residents in this area may notice door hangers on their homes also notifying them of this event.

Personnel of Mosquito Control of Lafourche, LLC, have been assigned to inspect the immediate area surrounding the epicenter and to continue outward for an approximate one to five city block areas depending upon the geographic location, the topography, and the surrounding conditions.

The purpose of the search will be to locate vector mosquito (the Southern House Mosquito and/or the Asian Tiger) breeding sites. Once located, Mosquito Control will address the larvae with the feasible means necessary to control the situation.

During the evening hours, truck mounted sprayers will be assigned to Spray Zone 20 in an effort to reduce/maintain the vector mosquito population below the critical level. Traps will also be deployed to sample the mosquito population and will provide specimens for further testing.

Most people (70%-80%) who become infected with West Nile Virus show no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

There are several precautions residents can take to protect themselves from mosquitoes:
- Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow instructions on label.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain stagnant water from around the house, birdbaths, pet food, fountains, children’s pools, old tires, etc. Swimming pools should be maintained to avoid mosquito breeding.
- Keep doors closed except when entering/exiting a residence. Only use windows with a screen to exclude mosquitoes.
- Report dead birds to Lafourche