Lisa Rowley, a mosquito taxonomist with the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement district, looks at six different species of mosquitoes that came out of one trap on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. The second insect, from left, is the southern house mosquito and is known for carrying the West Nile virus.

Children have returned to school, signaling the unofficial close of summer in Louisiana. But along with the muggy heat, another fixture of the season remains: the threat of West Nile virus, an illness transmitted by mosquitoes.

West Nile Virus detected in West Baton Rouge; officials plan to begin mosquito spraying

That underscores the need for continued vigilance among health officials and the general public. While many people who contract West Nile virus can recover with no treatment, the illness can be more serious — and even deadly — in some cases.

Given that reality, Louisiana residents should continue to take precautions against mosquito bites, such as wearing insect repellent and wearing long sleeves when outdoors for prolonged periods.

East Baton Rouge crews to increase spraying after mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

It’s been a relatively uneventful season for West Nile cases so far this year in Louisiana. With any luck, that trend will hold. In the meantime, let’s cross our fingers, and keep the bug spray handy.