West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Orleans Parish, the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board said Friday. No human West Nile virus or Zika virus cases have been reported in Orleans Parish.
West Nile virus cycles between wild birds and mosquitoes and can be transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
While most West Nile infections cause no symptoms in people, the virus can cause serious effects, especially for those 65 and older or those whose immune systems are compromised.
The city is urging people to protect themselves from mosquitoes and remove containers that can hold water from around their homes to reduce potential mosquito breeding sites.
The Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board said it will continue truck and aerial spraying this week and will apply larvicide to storm drains.
It also will try to educate citizens through community outreach with the New Orleans Health Department.
Residents are urged to protect themselves from West Nile virus by avoiding mosquito bites through limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, using EPA-approved repellents, reducing the number of mosquitoes around the home and mosquito-proofing their homes by maintaining screens on windows and doors.
It is especially important for residents to remove standing water by emptying containers and changing water at least weekly in containers such as bird baths, pools and ponds.
Officials also urge residents to remove trash and clutter, including discarded tires, buckets, tarps and any other items that could collect water, and to make sure swimming pools and fountains are operational and circulating.