State health officials confirm West Nile in humans in Louisiana.

So far this year, there have been 20 confirmed cases of the West Nile virus in humans in Louisiana. The West Nile virus is transferred from mosquitoes to humans.

At least half of these cases have involved the neuroinvasive version of West Nile. That form is more serious, and can prove deadly. So far, there have been no deaths reported from West Nile in Louisiana this year.

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Here are some preventative ways to protect yourself from West Nile from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Eliminate standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water.
  • Unclog roof gutters.
  • Empty unused swimming pools.
  • Change water in birdbaths at least weekly.
  • Remove old tires or any unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Some ways to avoid exposure to mosquitoes are:

  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as at dawn, dusk and early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — the higher the percentage (concentration) of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will work. Follow the directions on the package, paying special attention to recommendations for use on children.
  • When outside, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is not yet a vaccine for humans, but work to develop one has begun.