Buzz Be Gone!

August 23, 2018

Mosquito season is in full swing here in South Louisiana and the good news for our state is that

not one of Louisiana’s cities made the 2018 Top 25 America’s Most Mosquito-Infested Cities list. The

bad news is that while we don’t have as many mosquitoes as some other states, many of the

mosquitoes we do have flying around are infested with the West Nile Virus. As of today, Louisiana has

the highest rate of West Nile in the United States with 53 human cases and 2 reported deaths.

West Nile Virus affects different people in different ways. A large majority of people who

contract West Nile Virus may be completely asymptomatic. About 1 in every 5 people who are infected

with West Nile Virus will develop a fever and experience flu-like symptoms. A very small number,

approximately 1 in every 150 people, will develop “neuroinvasive” disease, which affects the brain and

spinal cord. This rare, but serious complication can cause paralysis, brain damage, and even death. The

potential severity of West Nile Virus makes it vital that you protect yourself and your children from this


Prevention is key to avoiding mosquito bites and the diseases they carry. Make sure that there

is no standing water near your home. Check containers around your home such as garbage cans,

planters, toys, etc. and dump any standing water. Apply an EPA approved insect repellant and if you are

not sure which repellant is right for you, you can search the EPA’s website at Remember, you should not use insect

repellants on babies that are less than 2 months of age. Everyone should dress in long sleeves and long

pants especially if they anticipate being near any body of water or in a wooded area. Use air

conditioning if available and keep doors and windows without screens closed. In heavily infested areas,

you may want to consider using mosquito netting as well.