2 people infected with West Nile in New Orleans, according to health officials

Two people in New Orleans have tested positive for West Nile virus health officials confirmed on Friday (Aug. 24).

One developed West Nile fever, a viral infection similar to a flu. The other person developed neuroinvasive disease, a more serious form of the virus causing infection in the brain and spinal cord, health officials said.

Both residents developed symptoms the week of July 30.

State health officials said this week that Louisiana has reported 53 human cases of West Nile virus this summer. 

The majority of West Nile Virus infections are asymptomatic. However, common symptoms include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting and diarrhea. People over 65 should take extra precautions

For additional information regarding West Nile Virus, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/prevention.htm.

City health officials also offered the following safety tips given the prevalence of West Nile this summer in Louisiana:

SAFETY TIPS

Protecting Yourself

  • Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Use air-conditioning and make sure window and door screens do not have holes to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.  
  • If outside for long periods of time, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Use insect repellents containing EPA-registered active ingredients including DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
  • When using insect repellent, always follow the recommendations on the product label.
  • Click here for more information on protecting yourself from West Nile virus

Protecting Your Home

  • Eliminate standing water around your home, where mosquitoes breed.
  • Remove trash and clutter, and dispose of discarded tires and containers that can hold water. Turn over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys or anything that could collect water. 
  • Change water weekly in containers that cannot be removed, such as pet dishes or bird baths. Scrub the side of the containers with soap and a sponge to remove any eggs
  • Rain barrels and other water collection devices must be screened, and collected water should be used within one week.
  • Aerate ornamental pools, fountains and sugar kettles, or stock them with fish.
  • Report illegal dumping, water leaks and unattended swimming pools by calling 311.
  • Call 311 or email mosquitocontrol@nola.gov to report mosquito problems.

Tires are easily filled with water by rain, and they collect leaf litter, providing an ideal breeding site for mosquito larvae. Eliminating scrap tire dumps will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat.

  • Residents can place up to four tires curbside, along with their household trash, each week.
  • Tires in front of abandoned lots will not be collected; they must be moved in front of a residence with curbside collection.
  • Residents can also bring up to five tires to the City’s Recycling Drop-off Center, located at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave., on the second Saturday of each month between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Report mosquito issues

Report mosquito issues to 311 or mosquitocontrol@nola.gov

Residents are encouraged to contact NOMTCB with any other questions or concerns regarding mosquitoes at (504) 658-2400 or mosquitocontrol@nola.gov.

For additional information regarding West Nile, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s websitehttps://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html 

Maria Clark writes about immigration, health, doctors, patients and health care in Louisiana for NOLA.com | The Times Picayune and NOLA Mundo. Reach her at mclark@nola.com or 504.258.5306. Or follow her on Twitter at @MariaPClark1 .