SHREVEPORT, LA - Two cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Louisiana for 2023 and one of those cases is in the Shreveport area.

State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says it only takes one bite from a mosquito, so protect yourself.

Mosquito Bite

Tips to protect yourself against mosquitoes

1. If you will be outside, you should wear EPA-registered approved mosquito repellent and always follow product label instructions.
2. Apply repellent on exposed skin and clothing, but do not apply under your clothes or on broken skin.
3. If you will be outside for an extended period of time, consider a travel-size container of repellent that can easily be carried with you.
4. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
5. To protect yourself from being exposed to mosquitos while indoors, make sure that windows and doors are tight-fitting and that all screens are free of holes.

Dr. Kanter says mosquito pools are present and cases have been discovered in two parishes across the state.

Last year, Louisiana experienced 41 West Nile neuroinvasive disease cases and seven deaths.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can cause illness in people and animals. While 80% of human cases are asymptomatic, many people can develop West Nile fever. Symptoms of West Nile fever, which is a flu-like illness, can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and/or rashes.

What Are the Symptoms of West Nile Virus?

Symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness, numbness, coma and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks and carry the risk of death or permanent brain damage.

Close-Up Of Mosquitoes
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How to Protect Your Home?

1. Reduce the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around your home, which is where mosquitoes breed.
2. Dispose of tin cans, ceramic pots and other unnecessary containers that have accumulated on your property that may collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
3. Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. If a recycling container has holes on the sides, there is still room for the container to collect water for mosquitoes to breed, so holes should be added on the bottom if not already present.
4. Check and clean roof gutters routinely. Clogged gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
5. Water gardens and ornamental pools can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate. Take steps to prevent stagnation, such as adding fish or aeration.
6. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family for a little as 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.
7. Contact local mosquito control office to report mosquito problem areas.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Louisiana health officials have confirmed this year’s second human case of West Nile virus has been found in Caddo Parish during the last week of June. The first case was discovered in East Baton Rouge Parish earlier this year. The virus discovered in the Shreveport area is classified as neuroinvasive, meaning it spread to the patient’s brain or nervous system.

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