The state Department of Health has confirmed more mosquito-borne illnesses in Louisiana, including Zika and West Nile Virus. Louisiana Medical Director for the Center for Community Preparedness, Dr. Frank Welch, says there have been 14 cases of West Nile Virus so far this year. But he says these cases are not flood related.
“These all occurred and the confirmation has occurred before the flooding. So people shouldn’t associate these West Nile cases with the recent flooding,” Welch said.
Welch says right after the flood we see a decrease in mosquito populations because they drowned. But he says we could see more West Nile cases soon, as mosquitos will come back in higher numbers because of all the standing water from the flood.
“Before the flooding, we were actually in for a slower West Nile year. This is less cases than we normally see at this point,” Welch said.
Welch says there have been three more cases of Zika in Louisiana, bringing the total number of cases to 26, and all of them are travel-related. He says local transmission of Zika is more likely in the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. But he encourages all Louisianans to tip and toss.
“Anyone in Louisiana once a week, please go out and make sure there’s no standing water in and around your yard and environment,” Welch said.