Mosquito samples in three local parishes test positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have made their annual appearance in St. Tammany Parish.

St. Tammany Parish Mosquito abatement says three samples collected from traps in the Covington area over the past two weeks also tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The pubic mosquito control agency collects mosquitos from dozens of sites across the parish from February through November.

As part of the effort, the health department has issued a seasonal mosquito-borne disease health advisory to all local health departments and health care providers that includes information on the symptoms of and diagnostic procedures for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus and Zika. He said mosquitoes in West Baton Rouge tested positive earlier this year. Harris County Health and Human Services told Eyewitness News Monday that they have had three positive mosquito samples so far this summer. Nearly all of them were Culex quinquefasciatus, or what's better known as southern house mosquitoes.

While many families are spending time in the sun this summer, health experts are warning people to take precautions against mosquito bites.

"The presence of WNV in mosquitoes indicates an elevated risk to people in the area", Dr. Kevin Caillouet of the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement office said in a press release.

The mosquito control agency asks residents to make certain their septic systems are in proper working order. Also, controlling vegetation in ditches helps larval control treatments to reach the water surfaces to better control mosquito populations, according to the abatement district. Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss and numbness.

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