Posted: Wednesday, 18 July 2012 8:08AM
Rain has health officials worrying about West Nile
Recent rain storms and human cases of West Nile virus infection in Louisiana have state officials asking residents to double-check their property for puddles of water. LSU entomologist Tim Schowalter says it doesn't take a whole lot of stagnant water for mosquitoes to grow their larvae.
"Backyard fountains, tires, garden containers and things that bring breeding sites for mosquitoes a lot closer to people and their pets," Schowalter said.
The closer it is to you, the closer the potentially disease-carrying bugs are, too.
"Mosquitoes don't go very far from water," Schowalter explained. "People are probably going to be more exposed to mosquitoes because of the proximity of water."
Schowalter says recent tests of captured mosquitoes is finding more of them carrying West Nile virus. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reports at least ten confirmed human cases of West Nile infection this year, including cases in Jefferson , St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.
Tim Schowalter says for folks who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially during the early morning and early evening mosquito hours, he recommends good repellent: "Repellents that contain DEET are particularly effective."
(image from US CDC)