Tests in two Denton County cities have found mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus. Lewisville and Flower Mound officials this week alerted the county of the results as well as plans for ground spraying to counter the threat before it can get out of hand.
“We collected two this week that came back positive for the West Nile virus. I am currently coordinating [ground spraying] now,” said Sherry Harper, Lewisville’s health and code manager.
Lewisville officials announced spraying has been scheduled in both target areas for two consecutive nights — Tuesday and Wednesday May 7-8— starting after 10 p.m. and lasting most of each night. Maps of the two spraying target areas are available on the city website, www.cityoflewisville.com.
Bob Martinez, Denton County’s public health preparedness coordinator, said Flower Mound told the county Thursday afternoon about the positive mosquito test results.
Denton County Health Department director Bing Burton said his office is monitoring the situation.
“I don’t think there are steps for us to take regarding the two cities there. They are trapping and testing and [getting] their lab results,” he said. “If we were talking human cases, that is something else. Both municipalities are making arrangements to do their spraying, which is their call. I believe everybody is doing what they need to do.”
Burton was surprised to see mosquitoes testing positive for the virus this early in the season.
“I don’t know what that suggests for the upcoming West Nile season,” he said.
Burton encouraged residents to continue to be vigilant against the pesky and potentially virus-carrying mosquitoes.
“We’re depending on individuals in Denton County to protect themselves, and we will continue to do what we can to assist in that protection,” he said.
He reminded residents to drain standing water to keep mosquitoes from breeding, dress appropriately around high-risk areas, stay inside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and use repellents containing DEET.
Last year, Denton County had a total of 184 human cases of West Nile virus, including 129 cases of West Nile fever and 55 cases of the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease. That total was the highest number of West Nile cases per capita among Texas counties with populations larger than 50,000, officials said.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjLewisDRC.