Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Lewisville will hand out free anti-larval “dunks” to ward off West Nile Virus on April 4 and 5
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LEWISVILLE Lewisville officials have developed a program of public education, mosquito monitoring, and disease response intended to reduce the impact of West Nile Virus (WNV) on local residents and reduce the chance of widespread infection.
More than 30 people in Lewisville came down with WNV last year. Public health officials declared 2012 the worst season ever for WNV in North Texas, and there is concern that 2013 could be comparable. However, there are simple precautions people can take to protect themselves and their families from the disease.
The city will again offer free anti-larval mosquito “dunks” to residents this year, a program started in 2012. These dunks are safe when used as instructed, and can kill mosquito eggs and larva in standing water sources such as ponds, birdbaths and rain gutters — all of which can be active breeding sources for disease-carrying mosquitoes. The dunk giveaway is scheduled for April 4 and April 5, 5-9 p.m. both days, at Central Fire Station, 188 N. Valley Parkway. There is a limit of two per Lewisville household.
Both the city and Denton County will begin active trapping of mosquitoes on April 1, submitting those to the Texas Department of Health to test for the presence of WNV. City crews are regularly walking through and visually inspecting creeks and drainage channels to look for potential mosquito breeding sites. The city has nearly a dozen workers in the Parks and Animal Services divisions who are state-certified to apply anti-larval dunks or localized pesticide to curb the mosquito population. The city does not own a spray truck and would, if needed, hire an outside contractor to conduct street spraying if pockets of human WNV cases develop.
The city also will work with local retailers to display WNV information signs, including self-protection tips, and will display similar signs at municipal facilities. The public education campaign also includes digital billboards, posters, flyers, video announcements and online information.
Residents also are encouraged to report standing water on city-maintained property by calling Lewisville Animal Control at 972-219-3478.
The Texas Department of Health operates a toll-free WNV information line in both English and Spanish at 888-883-9997, and has expanded information posted on its website at tdh.state.tx.us. Denton County Health Department also has information about West Nile virus at 940-349-2907, or on the web at dentoncounty.com/heart/wnv.
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