More than 30 cases of Zika and West Nile virus in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – The Department of Health has reported more than 30 cases of the Zika and West Nile virus in the state of Louisiana.
According to state health officials, there are 34 confirmed cases of Zika virus, each of which are travel-related. Once a travel-related case is identified, public health officials and local mosquito control agencies are notified in order to take action to minimize the potential for local spread, according to health officials.
There are no reported cases of the Zika virus being locally-spread. Zika virus case counts can be found here.
A total of 30 West Nile virus cases have been confirmed so far this year in the state. There have not been any West Nile-linked deaths in the state this year. West Nile case counts can found here.
Those traveling to areas where Zika is active should be aware and take the following steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent
- Wear light-colored, long sleeves and pants
- Sleep under a mosquito net if you are outdoors or in an area without door and window screens
People should also make sure their home is mosquito-proof by ensuring their windows and doors have screens. Once a week, or after rain, empty standing water from containers around your home.
Zika virus is the greatest threat to pregnant women, as their child may be at risk for certain severe birth defects as a result of infection. Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should avoid travel to areas with Zika transmission. The CDC has a list of travel notices for these areas here.