(The following was written by Eric Bridges, Natural Resources Director for Lakeland based on information received from the Shelby County Health Department. In the interest of getting information out quickly, I am reprinting it here.)
The County Health Department, Vector Control will be spraying in Lakeland this evening (August 22, 2006) in an effort to control adult mosquito populations. The spraying will be between the hours of 8 pm and 11 pm. The County has notified the City that a positive sample for West Nile Virus has been found in an adult Culex mosquito in Lakeland. This means that the virus is active in our area. Residents should take the proper precautions including not sitting out in the evenings in an exposed setting and wearing proper repellents when performing outdoor activities. It’s also important to make sure your screens (on your screened in porch) are intact and to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds like pools of standing water. Drain and refill your birdbath every few days.
It’s important to note that this positive sample was from an adult mosquito and was not a human case of the virus. The mosquito was of the Culex genus, sometimes referred to as a “house” mosquito, and is one of our most common mosquitoes. Fortunately, this mosquito is generally a bird feeder, not humans, but precautions are still necessary. As always, the Health Department is continuing to focus on controlling the outbreak through larviciding and will continue this program until the outbreak has passed. Lakeland staff will continue to pass along information as it becomes available from the Health Department. For more information on West Nile Virus and the County Health Department’s Vector Control efforts log on to the County website (http://www.shelbycountytn.gov/) where you will find the latest information and useful tips. Or you may call the County Health Department at 324-5547. Also, the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/) website has lots of great information on West Nile and other health topics. Click the link for “Diseases and Conditions” and there you will find links to West Nile Virus information.