West Nile cases found from mosquitoes in St. Charles

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008


Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN – St. Charles Parish officials are advising residents to take preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites, as West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes have been found in the parish, according to representatives from the company that handles the parish’s mosquito control.

Mosquito Control Inc. reported to parish leaders that The Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory found West Nile Virus in one of its mosquito samples tested in the Ormond area on May 28.

The discovery marks the second incidence of West Nile found in St. Charles Parish this year, said Entomologist Steven G. Pavlovich. The first case was found on mosquitoes tested in Norco in early May.

St. Charles Public Information Officer Renee Allemand said Mosquito Control is now completing its protocol to combat the problem, including locating and addressing mosquito breeding sites and increased spraying in the affected area.

Allemand said residents within a five-block area of the discovery received information last week that outlined the heightened potential for the virus, and steps they should take for personal protection and yard sanitation.

Residents should also rid their yards of standing water to lessen available mosquito breeding grounds, including water in birdbaths, tires and gutters.

Symptoms of the most serious illness resulting from West Nile, West Nile Encephalitis, include flu-like symptoms, a decreased level of consciousness and swollen lymph nodes. Approximately 80 percent of those infected with the virus will not show any symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Residents are urged to contact their physicians if they develop flu-like symptoms 3 to 14 days after a mosquito bite.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.