Mosquitoes in two areas test positive for West Nile virus

Spraying dependent upon weather conditions

                                                                        

The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in the Fourth Avenue and Tower Drive areas of north Knoxville. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will spray for mosquitoes in these areas on Thursday, Oct. 26 between 8:45 p.m. and 2 a.m., 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 and maps are included below.

 

“We’ll have to watch the weather closely this Thursday to make sure conditions are suitable for spraying,” said KCHD Environmental Health Director Ronnie Nease. “It’s important for the public to know that even though fall weather is here, mosquitoes will still be active until we have our first good frost, which in Knox County may be this weekend.”

 

Weather conditions such as rain, high winds, and temperatures near or below 55 degrees can compromise the effectiveness of the spray. Any decision to cancel sprayings based on weather conditions will be made at the time of spraying and will be announced the following day.

 

Preventing mosquito bites and reducing mosquito habitats is the best way to reduce your risk of WNV. Officials recommend the following as long as mosquitoes are present:

  • Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants containing 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 socks and long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants.
  • 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 and 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

 

Fourth Avenue Spray Area:

Cooper Street north of West Fifth Avenue; West Fifth Avenue from Cooper Street to Boyd Street; West Fourth Avenue; Elm Street; Marion Street; Dameron Avenue; Hatton Avenue; Burgess Avenue; Baxter Avenue from Elm Street to Wray Street; Lee Street; and Bernard Avenue will be treated on Thursday, Oct. 26, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9, weather permitting.

 

Tower Drive:

Aurora Lane; Charlene Lane; Woodale Drive; Old Central Avenue Pike; Steeple Chase Apartment complex; Pratt Road; Tower Drive; Lawrence Road; Caron Drive; Sierra Road; Chesswood Drive; Woodleaf Drive; Sanford Road; Lutie Road; Oakcrest Road; Tillman Road; Rowan Road south to Henrietta Drive; Henrietta Drive east to Willoway Drive; Delapp Drive; and Griffins Gate Lane will be treated Thursday, Oct. 26, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9.

 

These treatments are in addition to a follow-up spraying previously scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2 in the Robindale Road area. A complete schedule of mosquito sprayings is available at knoxcounty.org/health.

 

To reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease, KCHD conducts a West Nile virus control program during 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 and monitor for other mosquito-borne illnesses. More information is available by calling 865-215-5200 or visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.

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