Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Protect yourself: Year’s first West Nile Virus death reported in Dallas
Follow the "three Ds."
DALLAS Dallas County Health and Human Services has recorded a West Nile Virus related death in the City of Dallas and Dallas County.
The patient lived in the 75224 zip code and was diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons the City will not provide additional identifying information.
Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are here in Dallas and are active. The City’s mosquito control program is continually evolving to address the threat of the West Nile Virus (WNV). The City meets weekly with Dallas County health officials and other municipalities to discuss trapping results, ground spraying applications and best practices. Public information and outreach has been expanded using television, radio, billboards, social media, phone calls, brochures, and community meetings. Additionally, a webpage at www.dallascityhall.com has been setup and dedicated to WNV information, including links to videos developed to educate the public on WNV prevention.
Off-season surveillance of mosquito activity was conducted from November 2012 through this past April. With the start of mosquito season in May, the City tripled the number of traps from last year to 90 and placed these traps in fixed locations where previous history indicated WNV activity. As necessary, the City places additional traps in other areas to gain information on mosquito activity.
The City is proactively identifying sources of mosquito breeding by responding to 3-1-1 standing water, stagnant pools and water conservation complaints. City employees have been asked to report standing water and staff has evaluated aerial views of the City to identify potential breeding sources.
The City’s mosquito surveillance program and abatement teams are taking the appropriate action to prevent or eliminate mosquitoes. However, it is important that residents do their part by taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.
People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes. The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites by employing the 3 Ds:
- Defend yourself by using insect repellents – Follow label instructions
- Dress in long sleeves and pants, loose and light colored clothing when you go outside
- Dusk and dawn, stay indoors during this time to avoid mosquitoes when they are most active
Protection against mosquito bites: Dallas residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites by reducing outdoor activity during early morning and nighttime hours. Residents who are outside during these times should cover their arms and legs and use a mosquito repellent.
Prevent mosquito breeding: Residents should eliminate standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of West Nile Virus. Breeding places for mosquitoes include swimming pools that are not kept clean, stagnant ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters and French drains. Standing water should be eliminated promptly, as mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Dallas Gazette
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