West Nile Virus Detected in Rayon City Mosquito Pool

Metro Public Health Department urges residents to reduce mosquito risk after detecting West Nile Virus.

The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) Pest Management Team has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in a mosquito pool collected in Rayon City. This marks the first detection of the virus in 2024. It follows a year of heightened West Nile Virus activity in 2023. No human cases have been reported so far this year.

The Health Department’s Pest Management staff are actively working to mitigate the risk. They have distributed fliers to residents in affected areas with instructions on protecting against mosquito bites and reducing standing water where mosquitoes breed. Additionally, the team is revisiting these areas to set more traps, monitor standing water, and apply larvicide if mosquito larvae are found. Notably, the Health Department does not engage in spraying to kill adult mosquitoes.

In 2023, nearly 23% of mosquito traps tested positive for West Nile Virus, compared to about 2% in 2022 and 2021. The summer of 2023 also recorded Nashville’s first human case of West Nile Virus in over five years. Reducing mosquito numbers is crucial to lowering the risk of virus transmission to humans and animals.

The MPHD Pest Management Team conducts weekly mosquito trapping and testing for diseases like West Nile Virus. They also offer free backyard inspections. Residents can call 615-340-5660 to identify potential breeding sites on their properties.

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Eliminating standing water in bird baths, tires, backyard toys, and similar areas can significantly reduce mosquito populations. Trimming overgrown vegetation also helps. These measures are essential to reducing the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus.

Health officials further recommend personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites:

– Limit time outdoors during dusk and nighttime hours when mosquitoes are most active.

– Use mosquito repellents approved by the CDC, including those containing DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

– Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts, and pants when outside during dusk to dawn. Light-colored, tightly woven clothing is best, with pant legs tucked into shoes or socks and collars buttoned.

– Ensure windows and doors have screens in good repair.

For more information, visit the MPHD website here.

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