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Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus found in Jefferson County

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.

Jefferson County health officials report mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have been found in seven ZIP codes. No human cases have been detected. 

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will conduct mosquito fogging this week around Churchill Downs, the University of Louisville, Iroquois, Portland, Park Duvalle, Old Louisville, Irish Hill and Crescent Hill.

Health officials say residents should assume West Nile-infected mosquitoes are prevalent across the county this time of year, not just in locations where they’ve been identified. 

The CDC reports around one in 150 people infected with West Nile Virus develop serious illness, which can be fatal. Since 2016, there have been 19 cases in Jefferson County, two that resulted in death. 

“People of any age can develop serious illness from West Nile virus,” Connie Mendel, senior deputy director at Louisville’s health department, said in a statement. “However, those over the age of 60 and people with underlying health conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and people who have received organ transplants are at greater risk for serious illness.”

Health officials advise residents to use insect repellent when outdoors and to wear long sleeves and long pants when weather permits. 

To help prevent mosquito breeding grounds, residents should remove standing water from flower pots, trash cans and gutters, and change pet water and bird baths frequently. 

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

To make a complaint about mosquitoes, call Metro Call at 311 or 502-574-5000.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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