Press release from Knox Co. Health Dept.
Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will be spraying for mosquitoes in five areas on Thursday, Oct. 4, between the hours of 9 p.m. to midnight, if the temperature is above 55 degrees.
Two sites, Broadway and East Knox, are repeat sprayings as specified in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol. The other three locations, Fourth Avenue, Halls and Kimberlin Heights, have had new positive lab confirmation for West Nile Virus.
Signs will be posted in the affected areas to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and to keep pets inside or in the back yard. A follow-up notice will be sent for repeat spraying in two weeks. Nighttime temperatures lower than 55 degrees may interfere with spraying as seasonal fall weather arrives.
"Mosquito activity has been drastically reduced because of the seasonal temperatures," said Ronnie Nease, KCHD's Environmental Health director. "We only had seven out of the fourteen surveillance traps with any mosquitoes in them this week. That's a good sign that mosquito season is winding down."
Areas for Repeat Spraying:
Broadway area north of Grainger Ave. to Rider Ave. and streets adjoining to Broadway between Rider Ave. and Grainger Ave.
All areas east of North Cherry Street; north of Magnolia Avenue; west of North Beaman Street and South of I-40. Also included are Lakeside and Kirkwood Streets and American Avenue.
East Knox County around Milligan Street
Areas with New WNV Lab Results (but have been sprayed previously):
Fourth Avenue area"
Cooper Street north of W 5th Avenue, W 5th Avenue from Cooper Street to Boyd Street, W 4th Avenue, Elm Street, Marion Street, Dameron Avenue, Hatton Avenue, Burgess Avenue, Baxter Avenue from Body Street to Wray Street, Lee Street and Bernard Avenue.
Kimberlin Heights Road/Chapman Highway:
South Creek Subdivision, Kimberlin Heights Road from Tipton Station Dr. to Deadrick Road, Sagefield Drive, Crossfield Drive, Basilfield Drive, Pennyroyal Drive, Twinleaf Lane, Harmon Road, Konda Drive and Karla Drive.
Homestead Drive, Hallbrook Road, Zirkle Drive, Marshall Drive, Arlie Drive, Old Maynardville Pike, Halls High and Middle School and Halls Library.
There are 21 species of mosquitoes present in Knox County. The Culex species of mosquito is the main carrier of WNV. It hides in shady areas during the day but comes out at dawn and dusk for a blood meal in order to reproduce. The striped Asian Tiger mosquito that is so aggressive is not known to carry West Nile Virus. The public is reminded to stay vigilant about reducing standing water on their properties, which is where mosquitoes breed.
West Nile Virus encephalitis is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause brain inflammation.
Symptoms may include: fever, headache, and body aches, often with skin rash and swollen lymph glands. More severe infections may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, stupor, disorientation, convulsions, paralysis, coma, and rarely, death. People over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to developing the disease. WNV is not spread by birds and can't be transmitted from person to person.
To address the public health concerns caused by mosquitoes, KCHD conducts a mosquito control program during the summer months. As the weather begins to warm each spring, public health professionals begin trapping mosquitoes around the county, testing batches weekly for West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. WNV affected areas are sprayed with an approved mist when needed to reduce the mosquito population. From March until the first frost, larvicides also are used in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. Birds such as blue jays, crows and robins also are monitored for signs of WNV.
TIPS FOR CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES
Eliminating breeding areas is an important factor in controlling the mosquito population. KCHD urges the public to reduce breeding sites around their homes by following these tips:
• Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flowerpots, or trashcans.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors.
• Make sure roof gutters drain properly and water doesn't stand in them.
• Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week.
• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
• Keep swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs clean and properly chlorinated;
• Remove standing water from pool covers.
TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESS
It also is important for residents to take necessary precautions against West Nile Virus during outside activity, either by proper clothing or insect repellant. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to keep mosquitoes from biting you. During mosquito season (generally April through October), take the following precautions:
• Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, if possible, since this is the time of greatest mosquito activity.
• If you are outside when mosquitoes are prevalent, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks.
• Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET (the chemical N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide); and
• Follow the directions on the label. Pregnant women and those who are concerned about using repellent products on children should consult their health care provider for advice, or contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) through their toll-free number at 1-800-858-7378 or npic.orst.edu.
More information on the mosquito control program and the treatment schedule are available by calling 215-5200 or online at http://knoxcounty.org/health/vector_mosquito_control.php. KCHD also provides the West Nile Virus Fact Sheet and the Public Health Fact Sheet discussing insect bites and repellents.
All informational materials may be reproduced and distributed as needed. A Mosquito Control technician is available to discuss mosquito control at community groups or neighborhood association meetings.
With an organizational vision of "Every Person a Healthy Person," Knox County Health Department is committed to promoting public health policies and practices to safeguard and improve quality of life for all residents. KCHD is responsible for disease surveillance, prevention and control, emergency preparedness, air quality management, ensuring food safety in public places, providing nutritional programs, family planning, immunizations and much more. More information can be found by visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.