NEW ORLEANS, LA — The City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB) urges residents of New Orleans to protect themselves from West Nile virus. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, given the recent amount of precipitation, it is imperative for residents to remain vigilant in eliminating or treating standing water.
A recent increase in the number of reported cases of West Nile virus in Louisiana and two confirmed fatalities serve as a reminder of the potentially serious nature of the threat. The virus can cause severe symptoms, especially for those 65 years old and older, but everyone should take precautions.
Of the 53 human cases of West Nile virus infection, recently reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, sixteen are in the Greater New Orleans area; two in Orleans Parish, one in St. Bernard Parish, four in Jefferson Parish, and nine in St. Tammany Parish.
The Mosquito and Termite Control Board has continued an aggressive aerial and truck application program targeting the “southern house mosquito,” applying larvicide to storm drains and standing water, and educating citizens through community outreach efforts.
NOMTCB urges residents of New Orleans to protect themselves from West Nile virus by avoiding mosquito bites through limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, using repellants containing DEET, reducing the number of mosquitoes around the home and mosquito-proofing their homes by maintaining screens on windows and doors.
Given the large amount of rain recently, it is imperative for residents to remain vigilant in removing standing water by emptying containers and changing water at least weekly in containers that cannot be removed, such as bird baths and kiddie pools. The life cycle of mosquitoes can be completed within a 7 day period, making it important to evaluate yards on a weekly basis. Remove trash and clutter, including discarded tires, buckets, tarps and any other items that could collect water. Make sure swimming pools and fountains are operational and circulating.
For additional information regarding West Nile virus, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/prevention.htm.
Residents are encouraged to contact the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board to treat standing water, report abandoned pools, or with any other questions or concerns, (504)658-2400.