The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in South Knox County. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will spray for mosquitoes in this area on Thursday, Aug. 25 between 9 p.m. and midnight, weather permitting, to reduce the Culex mosquito population and the risk of WNV spreading to humans. Signs will be posted in the affected neighborhoods to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and keep pets inside or in the backyard. The spray area is detailed below, a map is also included.
“It’s that time of year when we typically see positive West Nile virus mosquito pools,” said Vector Control Supervisor Andrea Woodard. “It’s important for the public to stay vigilant in their personal fight the bite efforts, including wearing repellant when outdoors and removing mosquito breeding grounds from their properties.”
Officials recommend the following:
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys or trash cans.
- To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
- More tips can be found at: org/health/mosquitomonday
South Knoxville spray area:
Henry Haynes Road from Chapman Highway to Babs Road; Babs Road; West Marine Road from Chapman Highway to Babs Road; Bush Lane; Tipton Station Road from Chapman Highway to Jonesboro Drive; White Creek Drive; Cold Stream Lane; Sweet Water Lane; West Hendron Chapel; Love Lane; Kimberlin Heights Road from Chapman Highway to Arthur Harmon Road; Pennyroyal Drive; Twinleaf Lane; Crossfield Drive; Sagefield Drive; Cloverfield Lane; Basilfield Drive; Dillfield Drive; Arthur Harmon Road from Governor John Sevier to Kimberlin Heights Road; Konda Drive; Karla Drive; Bridgette Circle; Michaels Lane; and Mountain Grove Drive will be treated Thursday. This area is scheduled for follow-up spraying on Tuesday, Sept. 6, weather permitting.
To address the public health concerns caused by mosquitoes, KCHD conducts a West Nile virus control program during the summer and fall months. As the weather warms each spring, public health professionals begin a weekly process of trapping and testing mosquitoes for WNV, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. From March until the first frost, KCHD also uses larvicides in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. These efforts are in addition to KCHD’s work this summer to assess, monitor and control for Zika virus disease. More information is available by calling 865-215-5093 or visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.