The City of New Orleans announced that the New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) and the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board (NOMTCB) developed a comprehensive plan to provide direction for the prevention and mitigation of Zika virus in Orleans Parish. Zika virus is most commonly transmitted to people through the bite of a Zika virus infected mosquito. At this time, there are no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in New Orleans. Four travel-related cases of Zika virus have been identified in Louisiana.
“We take the public health threat posed by the Zika virus very seriously,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We proactively put this plan in place to ensure that we are prepared and coordinated in the event of Zika transmission in New Orleans. Residents are highly encouraged to do their part to protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquitos.”
The Comprehensive Zika Plan was developed to guide coordination among various departments and identify preparedness and response initiatives to be taken in the city. These actions rely on the collaboration of several agencies including NOHD, NOMTCB, Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, and the Louisiana Mosquito Control Association.
The plan outlines Zika virus management in three phases: no reported cases, travel-related cases and local transmission. Within each phase, the components of mosquito control, public education & media outreach, and interagency coordination are addressed. The plan is a living document subject to change and includes potential actions that may be taken. However, the level of implementation depends on the number of cases.
Moving forward, NOMTCB and NOHD will continue to coordinate with key partners to provide information about the Zika virus to the public.
NOMTCB has initiated its 2016 mosquito surveillance program which is monitoring the two mosquito species that are the primary carriers of Zika virus, the Yellow Fever mosquito and the Asian Tiger mosquito. NOMTCB uses an integrated mosquito management approach which includes mosquito population surveillance, public education, source reduction, eliminating mosquito breeding sites, biological control and pesticides when appropriate. Spray trucks and airplane spraying will be used if needed.
Mosquitos breed in standing water. Residents are encouraged to assist in reducing mosquito populations around their homes and businesses by removing trash and clutter; disposing of discarded tires and containers that can hold water; and turning over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys or anything that could collect water.