Mosquitoes in east Knoxville test positive for West Nile virus

The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in the Milligan Street area of east 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, Aug. 30 between 8:30 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.

 

To reduce your risk of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases, KCHD recommends:

  • Applying repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants containing one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant. Read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
  • Wearing socks and long, loose, and light-colored shirts and pants.
  • Treating clothing with permethrin or purchasing pretreated permethrin clothing.
  • Disposing of, regularly emptying, or turning over any water-holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys and trash cans.
  • Using larvicides, such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks, to prevent breeding in large water-holding containers, including bird baths and garden water features. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.

More tips can be found at knoxcounty.org/health/mosquitoes

 

Milligan Street spray area:

All areas east of North Cherry Street, west of Prosser Road, north of Magnolia Avenue and south of Interstate 40 will be treated Thursday, Aug. 30, weather permitting, between 8:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. A map is attached. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20, weather permitting.

 

The south Chapman Highway and west Kingston Pike spray areas are scheduled for follow-up treatment on Thursday, Sept. 6. A schedule of all mosquito sprayings is available online 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 knoxcounty.org/health.

 

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