LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – West Nile infected mosquitoes have been discovered in three different Louisville zip code areas.
Those zip codes include 40212, 40213 and 40214, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. The infected mosquitoes were found in surveillance traps in those areas.
"This indicates that West Nile infected mosquitoes are now present throughout our community," Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, said in a statement. "We advise everyone to take the appropriate precautions no matter what ZIP Code you live in."
Most people infected with West Nile virus show little to no symptoms, according the department. Less than one percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over the age of 60 have the greatest risk of severe disease.
Officials have released the following advisories to help steer clear of mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. Use them according to label instructions.
- If weather permits, wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors. Spraying clothes with repellent will give extra protection – seeing as some mosquitoes bite through clothes. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
- Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
- More information about insect repellents can be found here.
The Department of Public Health and Wellness has also advised residents to mosquito-proof their homes by installing repair screens to keep the insects outside, using an air conditioning system, and emptying standing water.
No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the metro so far this year. Last year, there was one non-fatal human case. There has only been one case of death associated with the virus since 2015.