BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — The beginning of spring brought a swarm of mosquitoes to backyards across south Louisiana. But this summer, residents will get a much nicer surprise.
Right now there is a sharp decrease in the state's mosquito population, thanks to severe drought conditions. And experts say, bugs that are around, are not carrying West Nile virus, which can cause a potentially deadly encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.
Kyle Moppert, a medical entomologist with the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals says, "So far this year, in all of the testing that we've done across Louisiana, all the mosquito abatement districts, our counts are way, way, way down with finding mosquitoes with West Nile."
Birds are another carrier of West Nile. They transmit the virus to and from mosquitoes. In East Baton Rouge Parish over 500 wild birds have been tested for the virus so far this year, without a single positive result. Overall, the state is also seeing significantly fewer birds carrying the virus. There have been no human cases in Louisiana this year.