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Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Found In 6 Louisville ZIP Codes

Close-up of a mosquito on an arm.
One person infected with West Nile virus in Jefferson County has died, health officials report. Two others have tested positive.

West Nile infected mosquitoes have been found in Louisville again. The Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness found the infected mosquitoes in surveillance traps mainly around downtown, in Portland, the Highlands and near Iroquois Park.

Last year, one person died in Louisville after contracting West Nile. Connie Mendel with the Public Health and Wellness Department said that person already had serious medical conditions.

In most cases, the body is able to fight off the virus. However, people over age 60 are at greater risk and people with medical conditions like cancer, hypertension or diabetes are, too.

Mendel said there are several things people can do to avoid contracting the illness.

"We need to look for standing water," she said. "It’s fairly dry but we can still have water in our yards. So if we’re over watering our floors or bird baths — gutters that are blocked, that’s where mosquitoes are breeding right now."

Mendel said people should be vigilant with the mosquito spray, but also said people shouldn't be afraid. In most cases, she said, “they may experience flu-like symptoms, and recover, thankfully.”

Those flu-like symptoms happen for every 1 in 5 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito. About 1 in 150 people infected develop an illness that affects the central nervous system, like meningitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people should call their doctor if they have a high fever, tremors, muscle weakness, vision loss or neck stiffness.

The infected mosquitoes were found in six Louisville ZIP Codes: 40204, 40205, 40206, 40208, 40212 and 40214, according to a news release.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter.

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