Two people test positive for West Nile virus in Jefferson County 

September 13, 2022

Two people in Jefferson County have tested positive for West Nile virus. Additionally, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) continues to find mosquitoes infected with the virus in surveillance traps in the 40208 and 40215 ZIP codes. Mosquitoes with West Nile were previously reported in the following ZIP codes: 40203, 40206, 40208, 40211, 40212, 40214, 40215, 40258 and 40272. 

In most instances, people infected with West Nile virus either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. However, less than 1% of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. People over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease. Those 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. 

 “We urge people to protect themselves from mosquito bites and West Nile virus,” said Connie Mendel, senior deputy director at LMPHW. “Please wear insect repellant and dress in long sleeves and pants if you’re going to be outside during dusk and dawn.”  

 There have been no West Nile-related deaths reported in Louisville this year. Here is data from this year and previous years:  

  • 2022 - 2 human cases, 0 deaths
  • 2021 - 3 human cases, 0 deaths
  • 2020 - 0 human cases, 0 deaths
  • 2019 - 2 human cases, 1 death
  • 2018 - 6 human cases, 0 deaths
  • 2017 - 2 human cases, 0 deaths
  • 2016 - 6 human cases, 1 death

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile are not unusual at this time of year. People are advised to take the following precautions no matter what ZIP code they live in: 

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 here.
  • 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 of early morning and dusk. Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitos outside. 

Prevent mosquito breeding grounds 

  •  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 drain birdbaths on a regular basis.

Mosquito fogging  

 Fogging will begin this evening and will continue in the following areas, weather permitting:  

You can find a map of the locations where fogging will take place here.

Fogging occurs between dusk and dawn. The Department of Public Health and Wellness uses Zenivex, a synergized synthetic pyrethroid, using an ultra-low volume fogging machine. This product offers very low toxicity and odor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Kentucky Department of Agriculture recognize pyrethroids as safe to use without posing unreasonable risks to human health. Zenivex breaks down quickly in sunlight and does not have a residual effect.  

To check if your area has been fogged or will be fogged, call the mosquito hotline, 502-574-6641, or visit the department’s website. To make a complaint about mosquitos in your neighborhood, call Metro Call at 311 or 502-574-5000. 

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ABOUT LOUISVILLE METRO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS  

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) is a nationally accredited, independent, academic health department committed to achieving health equity and improving the health and well-being of all Louisville residents and visitors.  

 

 

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