Grapevine, Grand Prairie plan ground spraying to fight West Nile

Posted Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Preventing West Nile Virus

The Tarrant County Public Health Department recommends the 4Ds.

Drain standing water on your property so mosquitoes won't breed.

Use insect repellent that contains DEET.

Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

Dress in long sleeves and pants and spray insect repellent on the clothes.

Avoiding West Nile

The easiest way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Here are four key steps to follow:

When you are outdoors, use insect repellents containing an EPA-registered product.

Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so be sure to use repellent and wear long sleeves and pants if you are outdoors during those times.

Make sure you have good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels or anywhere it accumulates. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of West Nile virus

About one in 150 people infected with the virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days but even healthy people can be sick for a few weeks.

About 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2012 West Nile outbreak

Tarrant County: 280 cases, 11 deaths

Dallas County: 405 cases, 18 deaths

Denton County: 181 cases, two deaths

Collin County: 63 cases, four deaths

Johnson County: 13 cases

Parker County: 6 cases

Travis County: 146 cases, four deaths

Harris County: 71 cases, four deaths

Texas: 1834 cases, 86 deaths

U.S.: 5,387 cases, 243 deaths

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas Department of State Health Services, Tarrant County Public Health Department

West Nile in Tarrant County

2011: Two cases, no deaths

2010: No cases reported

2009: 32 cases, three deaths

2008: 16 cases, no deaths

2007: 25 cases, no deaths

2006: 53 cases, seven deaths

2005: Five cases, no deaths

2004: No deaths attributed to virus

2003: 22 cases, no deaths

2003: No deaths attributed to virus

2002: One death attributed to virus

Source: Tarrant County Public Health Department

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Grapevine and Grand Prairie have scheduled ground spraying after receiving confirmation that mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus.

Grapevine will spray tonight after positive samples were found in the 300 block of Dallas Road and the 1500 block of Dooley Street.

Grand Prairie has reported four positive mosquito samples — one in the Tarrant County portion of the city, in the Oak Hollow neighborhood — and will spray tonight and Friday.

All spray sites will cover about a half-mile radius in the sample areas, city officials said.

Tarrant County Public Health officials said Thursday that five samples in the county have tested positive for the virus this year. Three have been reported in Grapevine, one in Grand Prairie and one in Pantego.

Public health staffers have tested 1,998 mosquito pools, spokeswoman Vanassa Joseph said Thursday.

Joseph said that for the entire season last year, Tarrant County reported 280 human cases of West Nile, including 11 deaths. No human cases have been reported this year.

One case of West Nile fever, a milder form of the disease, has been reported in Tarrant County, according to Tarrant County Public Health. Up to 80 percent of those who contract West Nile fever never have symptoms.

“By this time last year, we had so much more activity,” Joseph said. “West Nile was more virulent and more active. We have had a low number of pool positives compared to last year.”

The county’s first positive sample for West Nile was reported June 27 in Grapevine.

Grapevine sprayed for mosquitoes a day after the positive test was confirmed at a trap in the 300 block of West Dallas Road, near the police station.

After a mosquito pool tested positive for West Nile virus in the southwest part of Pantego, a one-day ground spray was done this month. The public health department also conducted preventive spraying on the south side of the county.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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