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West Nile Virus Mosquito Reminder & Protection - Sep 19,2014

Tuesday September 23, 2014 11:39 am - 2373 Views - Posted By Vegetation
West Nile Virus Mosquito Reminder & Protection - Sep 19,2014

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is now confirming 103 human cases of West Nile virus in 2014. Due to this information and recent heavy rains combined with warmer temperatures, residents and business owners are being asked to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes and drain any standing water on their property every three to five days.
Health officials characterize West Nile infections three ways: Neuroinvasive, West Nile fever and Asymptomatic. A Neuroinvasive disease illness is caused by West Nile virus attacking the brain or spinal cord. In older people, it may be very severe and could result in brain damage or death. West Nile fever is less severe, with most people only suffering mild, flu-like symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals were never ill and were only discovered to have the West Nile virus in their blood when blood work was done for some other reason, such as a blood donation.
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.
"Everyone should take simple steps to protect themselves, their families and their homes from mosquitoes, which spread West Nile virus to humans when they bite. Protection is as simple as wearing mosquito repellant and covering your skin. You can also prevent mosquitoes from reproducing by dumping standing water from containers around your home."
Last year, Louisiana saw 34 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease in the state, which is down from 2002's high of 204 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease. But, in 2014 there are already 48 documented neuroinvasive cases being reported.
SAFETY TIPS Avoid mosquitoes and their peak activity times of dusk and dawn.
• 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 light colored 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.
REDUCING MOSQUITO POPULATIONS: You can reduce mosquito populations by eliminating standing water around your home or business. • Drain pet water bowls, ceramic pots and any other containers that may have stagnate water on your property. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or such items that could collect water. • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides only can 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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