More Resources Utilized To Inspect, Prevent West Nile

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 19:33:11-04

Health experts with the Metro Public Health Department said there are more resources being utilized this year to inspect and help prevent cases of the West Nile virus.

"We have greater surveillance this year which is a good thing, but it can also lead to more positive tests. There are more people out putting traps and testing mosquitoes. We have more samples this year," Environmental Health Specialist Mary Rys told NewsChannel 5. 

Rys and her colleague handed out Fight The Bite! brochures in the Waverly-Belmont neighborhood after mosquitoes were recently found to have West Nile.

It has become an information tool to help educate residents when there are positive tests in the neighborhood. 

Other neighborhoods in Antioch, Madison, and Green Hills also had batches of mosquitoes test positive for the virus this summer.

In May, staff held neighborhood inspections and trapped mosquitoes for testing.

"You shouldn't be any more nervous than in the beginning of summer or the end of summer. We pretty much find West Nile every year," Rys added.

There have been no human cases in Davidson County and there have been no plans to spray to kill adult mosquitoes, according to Metro Public Health Department Spokesperson Brian Todd. 

Here are some steps the Health Department released to stay protected from mosquito bites and ways to reduce breeding areas:

•             Limit time outdoors at dusk and nighttime hours when mosquitoes are present.

•             If you must be outdoors then wear a mosquito repellent that is approved for use by the CDC – those include products that contain DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

•             Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent.  Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.  Pant legs should be tucked into shoes or socks, and collars should be buttoned.

•             Make sure your windows and doors have screens and are in good repair.

•             Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard – especially in children’s toys, bird baths, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trash cans, and wheelbarrows.

•             Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with Gambusia fish.

•             Apply mosquito dunks in standing water areas on your property.

•             Cut back overgrown vegetation (mosquito hiding areas).