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|West Nile here to stay|
Self-protection is the best method when it comes to mosquito borne illnesses, according to Don Riser, director of the Franklin Parish Health Unit.
"It has been assumed that West Nile is here to say," Riser said in response to questions about local testing for the illness.
"When Katrina wiped out the laboratory down in New Orleans, it wasn't replaced and testing stopped," he said.
In past years, dead birds had been tested periodically for the virus, but there was no testing of standing water pools.
Riser suggested parish residents take three primary steps to protect themselves: "wear long sleeves, especially in early morning or evening; use spray-on repellent and get rid of standing water."
He also said residents should keep lawns and nearby weeds cut, "because mosquitoes use high grasses as hiding spots during the day."
He added that standing water in unusual places, like in the bottoms of unused tires and in trays under flowerpots, could be breeding sources for the insect.