Mosquitoes are part of life in Louisiana. Usually they are just an annoyance on a warm summer's evening. Even worse, have you ever tried to get rid of a mosquito that was buzzing around your room at night?

Now the the threat from mosquitoes has taken on a more serious tone. Louisiana health officials are warning all residents of the state to be mosquito conscience over the next several months, especially in areas that were inundated with flood waters.

The problem with  mosquitoes is they are very effective transmitters of viruses. Two of those viruses, West Nile and Zika, have both been discovered in residents of Louisiana. Dr. Frank Welch, Louisiana Medical Director for the Center for Community Preparedness, says cases of both diseases have been discovered in the state in recent weeks.

The 14 confirmed cases of West Nile are not necessarily related to the recent flooding event across the state.

These all occurred and the confirmation has occurred before the flooding. So people shouldn’t associate these West Nile cases with the recent flooding.

In his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network Dr. Welch said mosquito populations usually decrease after a flood because their habitat is washed away along with the eggs and larvae. It's the weeks after the flooding when a new generation of mosquitoes is born that a flooded area really begins to see an increase in the mosquito population.

On the Zika front there have been three more cases of the disease reported in the state. All of those cases have been confirmed as being travel related. The total number of Zika cases in the state is now listed at 26.

Dr. Welch is quite adamant in suggesting that you can do something about the mosquito situation. It's called "Tip and Toss". That means you need to tip over containers that might contain standing water, even the smaller ones like children's toys or watering cans.

Anyone in Louisiana once a week, please go out and make sure there’s no standing water in and around your yard and environment.

It's also a good idea to avoid being outside in the early evening or early morning hours when mosquitoes are quite active. You might want to consult a professional exterminator or mosquito service in your area to see about protection around your home especially over the coming weeks.

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