Seven human cases of West Nile virus have been reported across the state, with one being in neighboring Bossier Parish.

The Louisiana Department of Health said all cases are from July and are from Ouachita, Moorehouse, Rapides, East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.

West Nile virus is an infection found in birds, and carried by mosquitoes, which feed on infected birds. It’s spread to humans and animals through bites by infected mosquitoes.

Local officials have been spraying throughout the week to help combat the mosquito population throughout the parish.

“We spray Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.,” Teddy Holloway, public works director for the parish, said. “It is all dependent on the weather.”

Minden Mayor Tommy Davis said the city has been treating the city by spraying throughout the past few weeks on different routes.
West Nile symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue.

Health officials say residents can prevent illness by wearing mosquito repellent containing DEET and wear long sleeves, especially around dawn or dusk, during summer months.

People should also remove all standing water on their property to prevent mosquito breeding. The insects lay their eggs in stagnant water found in pools, buckets, rain barrels and other containers.