The Department of Health continues to get reports of newly confirmed Zika and West Nile virus cases. Details of these cases are updated on the Department of Health’s website, Arboviral Surveillance Reports, and can be found here.
State health officials have now confirmed 34 cases of Zika virus in Louisiana. Each of these cases are travel-related. Once a travel-related case is identified, public health officials and local mosquito control agencies are notified to take action to minimize the potential for local spread. As of today, there have been no reported cases of locally-spread Zika virus.
National and state Zika virus case counts compiled by the CDC can be found here.
West Nile Virus
There are now a total of 30 confirmed West Nile virus cases this year in Louisiana. Of those, 17 were neuroinvasive disease, 10 were fever and three were asymptomatic. There have not been any West Nile-linked deaths in the state in 2016. West Nile case counts are compiled nationally by the CDC here.
Preventing Mosquito-Borne Diseases
All travelers to areas where Zika virus 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.
The same precautions apply at home, and people should also make sure their house is mosquito-proof by ensuring their windows and doors have intact screens. Once a week or after every rainfall, empty standing water from any containers around your home, especially small containers.
Zika virus is of 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. Because Zika can spread through sexual activity, pregnant women should have their partners use a condom correctly every time or abstain from sex.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.