Risk of West Nile is real

I was in the front yard on Sept 9, 2018 and I had severe bites from mosquitoes. I mustn’t be the lone person. After talking with several folks within the community, I realized, it is an area wide problem. After reviewing the mosquito control measures from the City of Irving, I realized, our area was treated on August 15, 2018. However, after talking with City official, on spraying again and having an integrated management plan (a dual plan where city and homeowners concurrently treat on multiple occasion), I was told by the City officer that the CDC has set limitations, unless West Nile or Zika is detected, they cannot treat again. My question was simple – Do you want to wait for a family member to fall sick and than start treating the area or do we want a prevention before it happens? I talked with Leroy MacFarland. Talks with Mr. Dickens, Ms. Adrian are in progress. I will keep you posted. 

 

Zika

Risk of West Nile is real

How can I say so confidently? The Mosquito menace is huge; Dallas County Health and Human Services detected a positive West Nile Virus sample on Rochelle Street (See picture and link from City below).

West Nile in Irving

What is West Nile?

Obviously, we heard a lot and many amongst you know it. However, to recap, here is an excerpt from Center for Disease Control (CDC) “There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness”.

You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites. Please visit CDC on https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html to know more about West Nile and its health impact.

Fortunately, in most people, it is not dangerous, excerpts from CDC…”Most people  (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord)”. https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html.

What do we do?

Of course, if you have suspicion for West Nile symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.

How do we ‘Prevent’?

That’s the reason for taking this initiative. Mosquito control is dual responsibility –

  • Local Government and the
  • Home Owners.

An integrated Mosquito prevention program is required for controlling mosquito menace. While City is doing its own rounds of fogging and environmental control, we as Homeowners have singular responsibility. We need interventions inside our home where City has no jurisdiction.

Both these activities have to be coordinated. We need the fogging program to happen in tandem. That means, while the city is treating your area, we need to simultaneously treat our yards. City alone cannot, individual home owners cannot do anything. It will recur.

How do we identify the problem?

In my view, generally, apartment complexes can be ruled out as a source since there are strict compliances. So I will focus on individual home owners and any property which falls within the purview of City.

Is your area covered?

The City has posted a schedule for the area. Zip code 75063 has been sprayed on August 15, 2018. Picture below.

75063 Spray on August 15

Has the city done enough?

Please check the map for the zip code affected the intervention from the city. Zip code 75063 was treated on August 15, 2018. Please see map here.

Can we call it enough?

Obviously NO.

Why?

  1. Please ask yourself if you can play or be outside at dusk time for 10-15 minutes without a mosquito bit.
  2. It takes several rounds to kill the live mosquitoes and their larvae are in different stages of breeding. If the intervention targets all the stages, it still needs multiple rounds of sprays.
  3. Even if your area is cleared, mosquitoes from distant areas may migrate into your areas. So you have to treat multiple times.

Can we blame City?

Yes and No

Why No?

Because if we haven’t done our part, we will see a persistence of the mosquito problem.

What action is required from me as a Home Owner?

We want ALL of us to treat the problem simultaneously with same intensity. That means, even if you have no problem in your yard, we want you to treat your yard.

When?

Along with other Homeowners and the while the city is doing mosquito intervention.

What do we need from you?

This is not a mandate, a voluntary initiative. We need few folks from each lane to identify the risk for individual homes. Once identified, those homeowners should aggressively treat their yards. One treatment is not enough, multiple rounds are required.

What are the other Mosquito borne illnesses?

West Nile is not alone. The list is long –

  • Zika
  • Malaria
  • Chikunguniya
  • Equine Encephalitis (Eastern and Western)
  • Dengue
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)
  • La Crosse Encephalitis (LACV)

Do we have Zika, Malaria or Chikungunya identified in our area?

Please call City of Irving or Dallas County.

Remember, the risk is real. We all have to act now.

Read the links below for additional information.

Irving Mosquito Control Program – https://www.cityofirving.org/816/Mosquito-Control-Program)

Irving area with proven positive West Nile Virus sample – https://www.cityofirving.org/DocumentCenter/View/25998/S13—RutgersLasalle-PDF
CDC Prevent Mosquito Bites https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html

CDC Mosquito control – https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/vectorcontrol/index.html

West Nile Prevention from CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html

Integrated Mosquito Management –  https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/vectorcontrol/integrated_mosquito_management.html

Zika Virus Infographics https://www.cdc.gov/zika/comm-resources/infographics.html

TOP 5 THINGS EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT – ZIKA https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/Top5.pdf

 

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