The Department of Public Health and Wellness has found West Nile infected mosquitoes in surveillance traps in six Louisville ZIP Code areas. The ZIP Codes are 40204, 40205, 40206, 40208, 40212 and 40214.
“It’s common for us to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile in Louisville around this time each year,” said Public Health and Wellness director Dr. Sarah Moyer. “What this means is people should take the appropriate precautions. They should wear insect repellant if going outside at dusk and at dawn, and should remove standing water around the home.”
Last year one person died of West Nile in Louisville, and there was one other non-fatal case. In 2015, there were three human cases in Louisville, with no deaths. In 2014 there were no cases and in 2013 there was one non-fatal human case.
In most instances, people infected with West Nile virus either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. However, less than one percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Serious illness can occur in people of any age. However, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk for serious illness.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has operated a mosquito control program for more than 50 years. The department does surveillance of mosquito populations with traps strategically located throughout the community, and tests mosquitos for such diseases as Zika and West Nile virus. In the spring the department pre-treats potential mosquito breeding sites with larvicide to prevent hatch offs. In the summer it treats catch basins and fogs to control adult mosquito populations.
To check on areas to be fogged each week or to sign up for fogging alerts, call the mosquito hotline, 574-6641, or visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/health-wellness/mosquito-control-and-prevention.
To log a complaint about mosquito problems in your neighborhood, call Metro Call by dialing 311 or 574-5000 or reaching them via Twitter @LouMetroHealth.
The Department of Public Health and Wellness also advises people to take the following precautions:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions. More information about insect repellents can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html.
When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths on a regular basis.