Richardson Resident Tests Positive for West Nile Virus
The Dallas County Health Department has notified the City that a Richardson resident has been diagnosed with the neuroinvasive form of the West Nile virus. The resident lives near the intersection of Custer Road and West Campbell Road, within the area that had a positive mosquito sample last week and was sprayed by Health Department staff Thursday night. There was no spraying Friday night due to rain.
Health Department staff are surveilling the area to try and find potential mosquito breeding locations, and will spray the area again Tuesday night, Sept. 11, weather permitting.
This is the third case of a person in Richardson testing positive for the virus in the past two years.
Spraying events begin at 9 p.m. and will end by 4:30 a.m. If wind speeds of greater than 10 mph are sustained or if it is raining, or if temperatures are forecast to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then Health Department staff may postpone spraying until weather conditions are more favorable.
Spraying is One Part of the Protection Plan
Spraying to control the population of mosquitoes and the spread of the West Nile virus is one component of a comprehensive plan the Richardson Health Department follows to control the mosquito population. Other activities include: continuous monitoring of mosquito test pool results, implementation of a residential pool abatement program to reduce areas where mosquitoes can breed, treatment of storm drains, use of larvicide and mosquito-eating fish along creeks and other stagnant bodies of water to prevent mosquito larvae from developing into adults, monitoring and notification in neighborhoods where potential mosquito breeding areas are discovered, closer collaboration with regional health departments, and public education efforts through mass communications channels.
How to Protect Yourself
To protect from mosquito bites, people are asked to follow the Four D’s of protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home,
- Use insect repellent containing DEET,
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitoes are most active,
- And DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants to reduce skin exposure.
More on the West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus is transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito that's already carrying the virus, but not all mosquitoes are capable of carrying or transmitting the disease. In North Texas, the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is greatest from July to October. Not everyone who gets bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus, and it's rare for people to become very sick if they do develop symptoms from the disease.
Symptoms of West Nile virus vary depending upon the person who becomes infected. People who do develop symptoms usually suffer from mild "flu-like" illness. Rarely, symptoms may require medical care or hospitalization. The people who are most susceptible to the disease are the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems.
For more information on Richardson's mosquito abatement program, visit www.cor.net/mosquito.