NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB) urged residents to protect themselves from West Nile Virus (WNV), in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and after the large amount of rainfall due to last week’s hurricane, it is imperative for residents to remain vigilant in eliminating or treating standing water and wearing mosquito repellant when exposed to mosquitoes.
The heavy rains and strong winds from Hurricane Isaac created the accumulation of debris and standing water which can serve as mosquito breeding sites. The continued power outages and large number of people that remained in the area and sheltered in place increases exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes. While mosquito infection rates have been declining, the risk of transmission can last well into the fall months. NOMTCB is resuming West Nile virus surveillance by collecting and testing mosquitoes.
There have been 9 confirmed West Nile fatalities in Louisiana this year. This serves as a reminder of the potentially serious nature of WNV. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will release updated statistics this Friday. The virus can cause severe symptoms, especially for those 65 years old and older, but everyone should take precautions.
Residents can avoid mosquito bites by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, reducing the number of mosquitoes around the home and maintaining screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes from getting in. Prevention is also aided by wearing repellants containing DEET or approved DEET alternatives when cleaning up yard debris, sitting outside in the evening or any other time one is exposed to mosquitoes.
Residents are reminded to:
Remove trash and clutter, including discarded tires, buckets, tarps and any other items that could collect water;
Empty containers and change water in containers that cannot be removed, such as bird baths and kiddie pools;
Make sure culverts and ditches are clear so that water can flow through them during heavy rains; and
Clear gutters of leaves and debris.
The Mosquito and Termite Control Board will resume an aggressive aerial and truck application program targeting the “southern house mosquito,” beginning the evening of Tuesday, September 4, 2012. In addition, crews will be applying larvicides to storm drains, non-functioning pools and fountains and other areas with standing water.
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 regarding mosquitoes or West Nile virus at (504) 658-2400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org