Mississippi helicopter to help fight West Nile in Louisiana

MGN Online

A Louisiana parish is bringing in a helicopter from Mississippi to fight West Nile virus this year.

Posted: May 4, 2019 3:45 PM

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A Louisiana parish is bringing in a helicopter from Mississippi to fight West Nile virus this year.

A news release says the helicopter will drop anti-mosquito bacteria into a St. Tammany Parish neighborhood where one-fifth of the parish’s infected mosquito pools were found last year. Because mosquitoes are so small, groups of 50 or more of the same species are tested together for the virus.

The 30-day program with the helicopter will begin the third week of May in the Tammany Hills neighborhood.

The bacteria naturally infect larvae of mosquitoes and other flies. They’re a subspecies of Bt, or Bacillus thuringensis , which has been used since the 1960s to control plant pests. There are many strains of the bacteria, and each acts against different groups of insects.

“Treating mosquitoes by helicopter has been successfully used by several counties in Florida for many years,” St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement director Kevin Caillouet said in the statement Friday. He said it has helped that region to keep Zika virus under control there.

The Mosquito Abatement team distributes larvicide into parish roadside ditches, but the helicopter can reach standing water that the team cannot easily get to. That includes unmaintained swimming pools, small ponds and water holding containers.

The helicopter can fly low and slow over a designated area, spraying the larvicide over habitats including woodlands and marshes.

Residents can expect a few low, loud passes near their homes, spraying a very fine mist over the area, officials said.

In addition, the helicopter will be added to the pesticide-spraying arsenal of ground spray trucks and Twin Otter fixed-wing aircraft for areas with increases in adult southern house mosquitoes, one of the main carriers of West Niile. Officials said the helicopter can focus on smaller areas than the airplane.

The helicopter contractor is Blackstar Helicopter of Picayune, Mississippi, which has operations across seven states.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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