Baton Rouge --- Four more birds tested positive for West Nile virus this week, bringing the year’s total to 52 positive birds in 34 parishes. Sabine Parish was the only new parish added to the list for this round of tests, with a blue jay testing positive for the virus. The three other new birds came from Caddo, Lafayette and Natchitoches parishes, which all previously had birds test positive for the virus.
“As the weather continues to warm up, people must protect themselves against West Nile virus,” said Secretary David W. Hood. “This is especially important now that school has ended and children and their parents are spending more time outdoors.”
To avoid West Nile virus, apply mosquito repellant, wear long sleeves and long pants and avoid wearing perfumes or colognes when outside for prolonged periods of time. Also, remove any standing water from around your home and make sure your windows and doors have secure screens.
West Nile virus, which humans contract through mosquito bites, begins with flu-like symptoms. Most people infected with the virus do not experience severe effects, but in extreme cases West Nile can cause encephalitis and lead to brain damage or death. Last year, the virus infected 329 people and killed 24 in Louisiana.
For more information about West Nile virus or St. Louis Encephalitis, visit the OPH Web site,www.FighttheBiteLouisiana.com.