High levels of West Nile Virus in local mosquitoes

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 9:10pm

It's all in a days work for East Baton Rouge pest control inspectors in search of standing water, serving as breeding ground for virus-infected mosquitoes.  As the number of infected insects they find keeps increasing, success is measured by keeping human cases at zero.

"Much higher infection rate that we've had in quite some time," said Matthew Yates, director of the East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement.

No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported yet, but the mosquito abatement department testing has found several infected mosquitoes at spots all over East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes.

"We have 39 samples that were positive for West Nile Virus from 20 different locations in the parish," said Yates.  "Virus is widespread in the parish and surrounding areas."

As the parish is busy spraying problem areas with pesticides -- including overgrown areas and ditches -- citizens are asked to help out by dumping any standing water they find around their home, applying mosquito repellant and wearing long pants and sleeves whenever possible.  Things everyone needs to do, or else spend a summer indoors.

"It's very seldom when we come outside, because the mosquitoes are too bad," said Christina Hernandez, a Scotlandville resident.  "When we do, it's only for a short time."

If you have any concerns with mosquitoes, call EBR Mosquito Abatement at (225) 356-3297.

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