Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Zika and West Nile – What You Should Know


Texas has had 90 reported cases of Zika virus disease. This count includes three pregnant women, one infant infected before birth, and one person who had sexual contact with a traveler. Of these cases, 40 have occurred in the metro area of Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton counties. Additionally, for the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel warning for a community in America. The community is in northern Miami and highlights the possibility that a Zika outbreak can occur in any community.

West Nile Virus

The number of mosquito traps testing positive for the West Nile Virus remains high throughout Tarrant County. The map to the right shows the high presence of WNV in the various mosquito traps throughout the region with 236 traps testing positive so far this year. Just this week, the third human case of WNV in Denton County was reported in Trophy Club. WNV is part of our environment, but we do not usually see this level of activity this early in the summer. This is the highest amount of WNV in the environment since 2012.ZikaWNVMap

As we move into August, not only will it be extremely hot, this is also the time of year when Southlake will see the highest amounts of mosquitos in the environment. While the City of Southlake is doing everything it can to help control the mosquito population, we must emphasize that our success is dependent upon our partnership with the Southlake community. Please remember to Fight the Bite:

  • Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
  • Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin.
  • In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
  • Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Remove standing water in and around your home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, and any container that can hold water.
  • Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Remember that these tips not only help control the mosquito that spreads Zika, but these same preparedness measures also affect the mosquito that spreads West Nile Virus. For more information about our mosquito response efforts, please visit CityofSouthlake.com.

Southlake Responds to Mosquito Virus Threat

Tarrant County Public Health has recommended that the City of Southlake activate our Mosquito Response Plan after receiving news of a suspected case of a mosquito-borne disease in a Southlake resident, in addition to finding an abundance of mosquitoes that transmit this virus.

“We were informed that a Southlake resident has traveled to a country that has active cases of Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya, and we have been working with Tarrant County Public Health to determine the best course of action,” said Environmental Coordinator Christi Upton.


Southlake’s Response

In accordance with the City’s Mosquito Response Plan, the City intends to spray within a 200-meter radius of the affected areas in the southern part of the City. Per the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and to protect the privacy of our residents, Southlake is unable to provide any additional details on the location.

Different mosquito species carry different diseases and have different characteristics. The mosquito that carries the Zika and Chikungunya viruses has a short flight range and is typically a day-biter. Because of the mosquito’s short flight range, the City will perform targeted spraying in the immediate vicinity of the suspected case.

How you can Protect Yourself

Personal protection is the first defense in protecting against the spread of all mosquito borne viruses. The community is encouraged to take action to prevent mosquito bites in the following ways:

  • The best way to prevent bites is to prevent mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water.
    • Mosquitoes prefer container water such as flower pots, bird baths, buckets, French drains, gutters, and water storage containers.
    • Eliminate these sources or vigilantly dump possible sources.
    • Where dumping or eliminating the water is not possible consider treating the water with mosquito dunks which are available at most home improvement stores.
  • Consistently wear insect repellant with DEET.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • If you are pregnant or concerned about becoming pregnant, please consult your primary healthcare physician for your unique situation.

Additional Information and Questions

For questions about the Zika virus, please call the Tarrant County Public Health Zika hotline at 817-248-6299.

For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please visit our dedicated mosquito response pages at: CityofSouthlake.com/MosquitoResponse

First Zika Virus Disease Confirmed in Denton County

April 13, 2016 – The Denton County Public Health Department has alerted the City of Southlake to the first confirmed Zika case in Denton County. The case involves a female who contracted the virus while traveling internationally earlier this year. The City of Southlake is aggressively monitoring for Zika and other mosquito borne disease as well as partnering with Denton and Tarrant Counties to utilize all available resources to address the safety of our residents.

“The City of Southlake is actively reducing mosquitoes by reducing mosquito breeding in public areas,” says Christi Upton, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Southlake.

You are encouraged to reduce mosquito bites by following the 4 D’s:

  • Dawn / Daytime / Dusk are the most common times of the day when mosquitos are active.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when you’re outside.
  • DEET is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and wear repellent when outdoors.
  • Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood.

Please visit the Denton County Public Health website www.dentoncounty.com/zika for additional information.