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Denton Elevating Mosquito Risk Level to 5

City to discussing using adulticide to treat mosquitoes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Denton is at its highest alert level for mosquitoes, after a human outbreak of the West Nile Virus. (Published Thursday, Aug 2, 2012)

    The city of Denton is elevating their mosquito threat level to Risk Level 5 on Monday.

    The elevated threat level is triggered by multiple human cases of West Nile virus in a short, 1-2 week timeframe.

    The Denton City Council will hold a special meeting Monday to discuss treating positive mosquito pools with adulticide to curb the spread of West Nile.

    Should the council approve the treatment plan, it will be the first time the city has undertaken such measures to treat mosquitoes.  Should the use of adulticide be approved, spraying would only be done in the vicinity of areas where positive human cases were detected, according to the city's mosquito response plan.

    The mosquito risk level was increased to Risk Level 4 only two weeks ago and since that time the city has been treating active pools with larvicide.

    Denton County confirmed their first case of West Nile virus this year in May. According to Kenneth Banks, Director of Environmental Services for the city of Denton, the county has now confirmed human cases in the city as well.

    “Five simply means we are getting to the point where we are seeing a fairly widespread amount in the mosquito population, and it’s getting to the point where we are actually starting to see some spillover from the traditional cycle in birds in mosquitoes to a transmission to people,” said Banks.

    Humans who contract West Nile generally show mild flu-like symptoms and less than 1 percent of those infected will develop severe illness.  Additionally, even those bitten by mosquitoes are not likely to contract West Nile. According to Denton's response plan, only 1 in 1,000 mosquitoes carry the virus and only 1 in 300 people bitten by a West Nile infected mosquito will show any sign of illness.

    Those at the greatest risk of contracting West Nile are those over the age of 50 or those with compromised immune systems.  If you've been bitten by a mosquito and develop symptoms such as high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, severe headaches, stiff neck or light sensitivity, you should consult your doctor.

    NBC 5's Sara Story contributed to this report.


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