The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in the Stone Road area of South Knoxville. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will spray for mosquitoes in this area on Thursday, July 27 between 9 p.m. and midnight, weather permitting, to reduce the Culex mosquito population and the risk of WNV spreading to humans. Signs will be posted in the affected neighborhoods to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and keep pets inside or in the backyard. Spray area details are below, map included.
“The heavy rain we’ve had this summer coupled with the high temperatures creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes,” said KCHD Environmental Health Director Ronnie Nease. “We encourage everyone to use mosquito repellant when outdoors and regularly remove any standing water on their properties, which can collect in gutters, children’s outdoor toys, flowerpots, trash cans, birdbaths and many other places.”
To prevent mosquito bites and reduce mosquito habitats, officials recommend the following:
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol, and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys or trash cans.
- To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
- More tips can be found at: http://www.knoxcounty.org/health/mosquitoes.php
Stone Road Spray Area:
Stone Road; Wise Hills Road; Echodale Lane; Magazine Road; Stoneoak Lane; Royal Heights Drive; Grandin Drive; Judith Drive; Larry Drive; Beechwood Drive; Liveoak Lane; Sarvis Drive; Maple Loop Road to West Red Bud Road; and West Red Bud Road will be treated Thursday, July 27, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10.
To reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease, KCHD conducts a West Nile virus control program during the summer and fall months. As the weather warms each spring, public health professionals begin a weekly process of trapping and testing mosquitoes for WNV, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. From March until the first frost, KCHD also uses larvicides in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. These efforts are in addition to KCHD’s work to assess, monitor and control for Zika virus disease. More information is available by calling 865-215-5200 or visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.
About Knox County Health Department:
The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is a governmental agency dedicated to making every person a healthy person. As the first health department in Tennessee to achieve national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, KCHD’s mission is to encourage, promote and assure the development of an active, healthy community through innovative public health practices. The organization conducts disease surveillance, prevention and control; emergency preparedness; nutrition and physical activity promotion; tobacco use prevention; health equity promotion; immunizations; and much more. For more information, visit www.knoxcounty.org/health.