Louisville health officials find West Nile mosquitoes in several zip codes | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Officials with the Louisville Department of Public Health and Welfare have found West Nile virus in mosquitoes in several zip codes.

Mosquitoes were tested after being found in surveillance traps in the following ZIP codes in Jefferson County: 40203, 40206, 40208, 40211, 40212, 40214, and 40215.

In a news release Monday, health officials reminded residents to take precautions when enjoying the outdoors.

“Remember all the preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes,” said Connie Mendel, senior deputy director of the city’s health department.

Because West Nile virus is endemic to Louisville, it is regularly found in mosquito populations in Jefferson County, and residents should assume it is present in all neighborhoods at this time of year, even if no alert has been issued.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent when going outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to label instructions.
  • Weather permitting, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothing with a repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will provide additional protection. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to your skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothes.
  • Be especially careful during the peak mosquito-biting hours of early morning and dusk. Take special care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn, or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
  • Prevent mosquito breeding sites:
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by regularly emptying standing water from flower pots, trash cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbath drains. Click here for more tips.

No human cases of West Nile disease have been reported in Louisville so far this year, according to the release.

Here are data from previous years:

  • 2021: Three human cases, zero deaths
  • 2020: Zero human cases, zero deaths
  • 2019: Two human cases, one fatality
  • 2018: Six human cases, zero deaths
  • 2017: Two human cases, zero deaths
  • 2016: Six human cases, one fatality

In most cases of West Nile, people either show no symptoms or are relatively mild. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop serious illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, according to the release.

The Louisville Health Department has operated a mosquito control program for more than 60 years. In addition to West Nile, the department tests for encephalitis Crosse, East Equine and St. Louis.

In the spring, the department pre-treats potential mosquito breeding sites with larvicide to prevent hatching. During the summer, it treats catch basins, responds to complaints and performs fogging when necessary in response to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Health officials now plan to conduct mosquito fogging this week near the Churchill Downs, University of Louisville, Iroquois, Portland, Duval Park, Old Louisville, Irish Hill and Crescent Hill areas.

The fog appears between dusk and dawn.

To check if your area has been or will be fogged, call the mosquito hotline, 502-574-6641, or visit the department’s website.

To file a complaint about mosquitoes in your neighborhood, call Metro Call at 311 or 502-574-5000.

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