Positive hit for West Nile virus

Health Department offers help towards mosquitos

Health Department offers help towards mosquitos

The Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement has announced that they are now the first mosquito control district in the state with the capability to test mosquito samples for West Nile virus in-house using LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification).

Between July 8 and July 28, officials say a record number of 195 mosquito pools, a collection of trapped mosquitoes, tested positive for West Nile in New Jersey, which is double the amount during the same time previous year. West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. State health officials recorded 285 dead birds, 942 positive mosquito samples and 38 chickens infected with WNV, according to the state health agency. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

The peak season for West Nile runs through September.

The mosquito most common for transmitting West Nile virus is the Culex tarsalis. This disease can affect anyone but those over age 50 or people having underlying health conditions are at greater risk of developing the more severe form of the disease.

 Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property. When pools are not in use, then use pool covers drain water when necessary.

Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are left outdoors.

 Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.

The Louisiana Department of Health has cautioned that repellents used on children should contain no more than 30 percent DEET. West Nile virus is here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Use window and door screens and fix any holes in screens to help keep mosquitoes outside.

The county utilizes 54 so-called sentinel chickens, birds placed in strategic areas of the county that are tested every two weeks for the West Nile virus.

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