MERAUX, La. — Louisiana authorities are responding after test results from mosquitoes in St. Bernard Parish came back positive for West Nile Virus this week, parish officials said.
A routine test of mosquito larvae in the area uncovered three samples that tested positive for West Nile Encephalitis, known as West Nile Virus, around Meraux this week, St. Bernard Parish officials announced Friday.
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The Louisiana Animal Diagnostic Laboratory performs the tests for mosquito-transmitted viruses around Southeast Louisiana and confirmed the results.
In response to the findings, mosquito abatement spraying was set for Friday evening and would extend throughout the evenings that weekend, officials said.
Officials listed the following CDC-recommended steps for residents living where West Nile Virus has been detected.
• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers
• Pay special attention to discarded tires
• Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use
• Turn over wheelbarrows and eliminate stagnate water in birdbaths
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, not in use
• Mosquitos may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.
• Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property
• Please wear protective clothing and apply proper mosquito repellent when going outdoors
• Potted Plants - add a few drops of vegetable oil to the tray to coat the standing water so larvae won’t mature
While most people who contract West Nile Virus do not actually develop symptoms, about one in five people develop fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue, among other symptoms, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
While fatalities from West Nile virus are rare, symptoms become severe for about one in 150 people with the disease, and about one in 10 of those severe cases turn deadly, the CDC says.
Finding in West Nile Virus around Southeast Louisiana is common during the summer months. In July, several tests came back positive for the virus in St. Tammany Parish.