As we say goodbye to the summer and approach slightly cooler temps and shorter days in the fall, many wonder where the West Nile virus stands in Louisiana. Is there still a moderate threat? Should residents still be taking preventative measures? Are there still confirmed cases of the virus in Baton Rouge?
The Centers for Disease Control released another West Nile virus update that was updated during the week of September 10. The CDC has updated us with the following information:
– A total of 2,636 cases across the U.S.
– 118 deaths
– 1,405 neuroinvasive cases
– 1,231 non-neuroinvasive cases
– Two-thirds of all cases have been reported from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota
For the Baton Rouge area, West Nile poses a unique threat because there are no cold temperatures in the near future that will wipe out mosquito colonies. As long as mosquitoes are a threat, so is West Nile. And this year, it seems as if the virus is back with a vengeance. The virus reached new heights in 2002, but continued to drop over the years. In 2002, there were 328 cases in Louisiana, and this year, there have been 176 reported so far. To put these numbers into perspective, there were only 12 reported cases last year.
Some parishes have also been struggling with getting the proper proactive measures in place. Spraying treatments can be costly and in turn raise taxes, and not all parishes have passed these proposals, especially rural parishes. The good news is that even though this has been one harsh year with the West Nile virus, the number of cases is expected to drop.
West Nile is most commonly seen in the late summer and early fall, and we’re starting to get past that point. While it’s still critical that you take preventative measures – dumping out sources of standing water, wearing mosquito repellent and avoiding dusk and dawn hours – the threat will be subsiding over the next few weeks.
September 2012 West Nile Update for Louisiana in Louisiana
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