GRAPEVINE — A mosquito pool sample in Grapevine has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Tarrant County Public Health.It is the first positive sample of 1,430 taken this year, the department said. The positive test was confirmed June 26. Last year, the first mosquito pool positive sample was on June 4.We had the bad luck to be the first, said Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate.Jennifer Hibbs, Grapevine assistant city manager, said the positive test was discovered at a trap in the 300 block of W. Dallas Road, near the police station.She said the city has five standing traps and one mobile trap. She pointed out the sites on a map in the city managers office that showed half-mile circles around each test area.Grapevine sprayed on Thursday, a day after the test was confirmed. No plans are underway for additional spraying at this time, Hibbs said.Hibbs said the city has not needed to spray in years. In Richland Hills, Elizabeth Smesny also is concerned about West Nile. Smesny thinks her son is Tarrant Countys second West Nile virus victim of 2013, and she fears the mosquito that gave it to him was born in the street in front of her house.Maxwell Smesny, 22, started feeling ill June 19. The next week, he was so sick that his mom took him to the emergency room at Texas Health Harris Methodist H-E-B Hospital in Bedford.He had headache, dizziness, aching joints, high fever, disorientation, vomiting and loss of coordination, Elizabeth Smesny said last week. Her son was treated in the emergency room and released.Although Smesny said she was told by a nurse that he had the West Nile virus, a hospital spokesman said the hospital has not treated anyone for West Nile virus this year.Tarrant County Public Health has reported one West Nile case a 40-year-old woman in Fort Worth in 2013, spokeswoman Vanassa Joseph said.Still, the health department began spraying for mosquitoes in areas of southeast and southwest Tarrant County last week.Concerns Smesny said Richland Hills should also be spraying, an opinion shared by Royce and Sharon Dalton, her neighbors on Spruce Park Drive.Since a Texas Department of Transportation crew resurfaced the Airport Freeway road that the street runs into, rainwater has been unable to drain and has lingered in the intersection until it evaporates over the course of several days, Sharon Dalton said.The neighbors fear that mosquitoes breeding in that standing water could be infected with West Nile virus, Smesny said.Im concerned about my neighbors, she said. We have a lot of elderly people who live on this street. If theres something the city can do and they know theres a problem, they shouldnt just sit by.The health department advised Richland Hills to take steps for mosquito management up to and including spraying, City Manager Curtis Hawk said.
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367