It had killed eight Louisiana residents and caused more than 170 illnesses in the state. Find out the facts about West Nile Virus and the mosquitoes that cause it when Louisiana Public Broadcasting hosted a town meeting called West Nile Virus Answers.
Up until three years ago, the West Nile Virus was found only in Africa, Eastern Europe and West Asia. Since arriving in the United States, it has infected horses in 27 states and humans in 18 states. Mosquitoes acquire the virus from infected birds and pass it on to other birds, animals and people. The virus can cause encephalitis, an infection of the brain, in humans and animals.
This 60-minute special included experts in entomology, epidemiology, veterinary medicine, agriculture and state health officials. It provided information on what is being done to combat the disease-carrying mosquitoes, what you can do to reduce mosquito breeding grounds around your home, and how to protect yourself during the prime mosquito hours at night.
Viewers around the state were able to call or e-mail their questions to the panel of experts. Immediately after the program, there was a live 30-minute chat on the LPB website.
This program was done in cooperation with the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the LSU Agricultural Extension Service.
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