Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Fort Worth Awaits Tests, Mulls Further Spraying

Tarrant County reports two additional West Nile virus-related deaths

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fort Worth is waiting to receive results from mosquito traps to decide the next steps in the battle against West Nile virus carrying mosquitoes. (Published Monday, Aug 20, 2012)

    Fort Worth has wrapped up its ground spraying efforts in neighborhoods south of downtown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

    Tarrant County has 205 reported cases of West Nile virus. On Monday, the county reported two deaths related to the virus, bringing the total to four. The county said a Fort Worth man and a North Richland Hills woman, both in their 80s and who had underlying medical issues, had died.

    Fort Worth decided to conduct the spraying in portions of zip codes 76104 and 76110 because of a high percentage of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus and increasing human cases. The ground spraying was the first such effort in Fort Worth in more than two decades.

    Fort Wort does not currently have plans for ground spraying in the city.

    The effectiveness of the spraying won't be known for a few more days, because the city is waiting to get new mosquito samples to test.

    Rob Spindle, a supervisor in the code compliance department, spent Monday afternoon setting up traps on the city's near Southside inside the spray zone.

    "This will indicate how well the spraying did and whether we still have mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in the area," Spindle said as he set up a trap near Fire Station No. 8.

    The traps consist of a small battery-operated fan, a capture net and what Spindle calls "stinky water."

    "Typically, what you would see in a situation like this is, some of the traps coming back negative, one or two coming back positive," said Brandon Bennett, code compliance director. "And one positive trap in such a large area would require additional testing before we looked at additional treatment."

    The city's Near Southside isn't the only area in the city being watched.

    The 76137 and 76244 zip codes, east of Interstate 35W and mostly north of Loop 820, have seen an increase in human cases and positive mosquitoes.

    A public meeting is planned for Tuesday at Sumerglen Library on Basswood Boulevard starting at 6:30 p.m.

    But the does not have current plans for spraying while it awaits test results in that area.

    "It's something for us to be cautious about, but we're not committed to any one particular treatment right now until we get those results," Bennett said.

    The results aren't expected to come in until Wednesday. Bennett said the ground spraying was intended to get rid of adult mosquitoes with the virus. The best way to fight West Nile virus is prevention, such as draining standing water, wearing bug spray with DEET or avoiding dusk and dawn when mosquitoes with the disease are most active, he said.


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