Today is the second of a three-day ground spraying operation for mosquitoes in selected areas by the Denton County Health Department.
A positive West Nile virus mosquito sample found northwest of Dish city limits necessitated the spraying, which began Thursday.
Ground spraying will occur in an area west of FM156, south of Swafford Road, north of Hovenkamp, Meadow Ranch and Chisum roads, and west to the end of Alamo Drive. A map of the spray area can be found at dentoncounty.com/WNV.
Residents in the affected area are being informed. The mosquito sample was confirmed positive by the Department of State Health Services lab on Sept. 24.
“Earlier this year, the health department made public plans to conduct testing for the West Nile virus in unincorporated areas of the county with the intent of spraying the areas if any positive tests were found,” said Bing Burton, Denton County Health Department director. “We began trapping in May. This is the first positive result we have had. It’s kind of interesting because we were expecting to end the program on Sept. 30, and now that we have a positive [test], we will probably extend it for another month.”
Burton said the county has sent hundreds of traps and almost 5,000 mosquitoes to Austin.
“We’ve only had one human case that was in the city of Denton,” Burton said of a man who was found to have West Nile fever, the milder form of the illness. “But there have been multiple positive mosquito samples in the city. This is just our first in the unincorporated area.
West Nile virus first appeared in Denton County in 2002. Last year’s season saw 184 human cases and two deaths reported.
DCHD has extensive information for residents on its West Nile Virus website, including tips for reducing mosquitoes around the home, frequently asked questions and printable flyers and posters.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.