West Nile mosquitoes found in Louisville
The Department of Public Health and Wellness has found West Nile infected mosquitoes in surveillance traps in three Louisville ZIP Code areas. The ZIP Codes are 40212, 40213, and 40214.
“This indicates that West Nile infected mosquitoes are now present throughout our community,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “We advise everyone to take the appropriate precautions no matter what ZIP Code you live in. You should wear insect repellant if you go outside during dusk or dawn and should remove standing water around your home.”
The Department of Public Health and Wellness 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 here 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.
No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Louisville so far this year. Last year there was one non-fatal human case. In 2016 there were two human cases and one death. In 2015, there were three human cases with no deaths.
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 West Nile, Zika and St. Louis Encephalitis.
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 performs mosquito fogging in response to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
To check if your area has been fogged or will be fogged call the mosquito hotline, 574-6641, or visit https://louisvilleky.gov. To make a request regarding mosquitoes in your neighborhood call Metro Call at 311 or 574-5000.