Lafayette Consolidated Government’s (LCG) mosquito control contractor, Mosquito Control Services, LLC (MCS) has confirmed a mosquito sample positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) which was collected near the Butcher Switch area (Zone 6). MCS is taking immediate and aggressive action in the area of the confirmed sample.
The general public is encouraged to take an active role in personal mosquito prevention:
· When outside, 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 two months. CDC recommends always following the recommendations appearing on the product label when using repellent.
· Wear clothing such as long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes to prevent mosquito bites when outdoors for long periods of time.
· Mosquitoes are most active around dusk and dawn. Mosquito repellent and full-covered clothing as described above are recommended two hours after sunrise or several hours before sunset.
· Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors for extended periods of time.
· At home, ensure exterior windows and doors are tight-fitting and all screens are free of holes.
The general public is also reminded to take proactive approaches to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds on and around their property:
· Where possible, eliminate objects on or around property that can collect water and potentially serve as a mosquito breeding site.
· Dispose of tin cans, ceramic pots and other unnecessary containers that have accumulated on property. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
· Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides 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 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.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Louisiana has reported the most cases of WNV in the country. LDH describes WNV and symptoms as the following:
· West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease is the most serious type of illness associated with the virus. It infects the brain and spinal cord. Neuroinvasive disease can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.
· West Nile Fever is a milder viral infection in which people experience flu-like symptoms.
· The majority of people who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic, which means they show no symptoms. These cases are typically detected through blood donations or in the course of other routine medical tests. Note: As of August 22, LDH reported nine blood donors have tested positive for WNV.
In addition to citizen efforts, Mosquito Control Services, LLC (MCS) is maintaining an aggressive mosquito abatement regiment in the parish. The program which is designed to prevent and eliminate the threat of mosquito-borne illness control through a three-pronged approach of larviciding, adulticiding and surveillance. Employing this type of integrated management plan is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is scientifically proven to safely reduce mosquito populations:
· Larvicide is a mosquito control product that targets eggs, larvae and pupae directly at a breeding habitat to eliminate the threat of mosquitoes before they can mature into adults and disperse. The product is applied directly to the water source that is a confirmed or potential mosquito breeding spot.
· Adulticide is the product used in traditional spraying for active, adult mosquitoes. When utilized under the appropriate circumstances, such as at dusk and dawn when most mosquitoes are active, the spray has an immediate impact to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes within the applied area.
· Mosquito surveillance activities help to identify and manage areas of population or breeding sites. Surveillance is used to identify if, when and where the aforementioned products are needed.