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Denton tests positive for West Nile virus, enters Risk Level 4

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Denton entered Risk Level 4 of the city’s Mosquito Surveillance and Response plan June 24 following the threat of West Nile virus in the area, according to a City of Denton press release.

This increase in risk level comes six days after the city entered Risk Level 3 in response to a positive sample of West-Nile-carrying mosquitos captured on June 22 at the City Service Center on Texas Street.

Assistant Director of Environmental Services Deborah Viera confirmed there have been no human cases of the West Nile Virus in Denton. Viera said the risk level could decrease later in the year.

“In the event the trigger for Risk Level 5 is not met through the rest of the season, the risk level would be reset after the first freeze in fall or winter,” Viera said via email.

Risk Level 4 entails regular testing and surveying of the mosquito population by the city. The city will also increase its application of biological agents to kill disease-carrying mosquito larva.

A map of locations where positive mosquitos have been found can be located on the city website.

“While the City is working proactively to control mosquito populations and lower the threat of West Nile virus, citizen involvement is essential,” the city said in a press release.

Assistant Director of Environmental Services, Deborah Viera gave the following prevention techniques for citizens to follow:

  • Drain standing water around your house, yard and neighborhood.
  • Dusk and Dawn are the times when you should stay indoors; this is when mosquitos are most active.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when you are outside, and spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • Defend yourself with insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon or Eucalyptus.

Citizens can pick up a limited supply (two per citizen) of BTI briquettes, a larvicide for clearing water of mosquitos, with a valid proof of residence at the following locations:

Customer Service, located at City Hall East, 601 E. Hickory St., Ste F. (Corner of Hickory Street and Railroad Avenue), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the City of Denton Composting, located at 1100 S. Mayhill Rd. in the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Facility, Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is currently no public health warning for West Nile for the Denton County area outside of the city of Denton.

“Thankfully, at this time, DCPH has yet to report any positive mosquito traps in unincorporated Denton County,” said Public Information Officer for Denton County Public Health Jennifer Rainey over email.

Featured image: Mosquitos in the Denton area are carrying the West Nile Virus, more and more safety procedures are being released to the public on how to combat the spread of mosquitos. Image by Enzo Favarato

Article Originally Published by Matthew Lippi on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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