Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Fort Worth May Soon Consider Targeted Ground Spraying

Clusters of human case of West Nile Virus trigger amped up control measures

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 7:17 PM CDT
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The director of the Code Compliance Department in Fort Worth says he may recommend targeted ground spraying to the city council this week.

Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News

The director of the Code Compliance Department in Fort Worth says he may recommend targeted ground spraying to the city council this week.

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There is debate about the effectiveness of ground spraying for mosquitoes as part of the battle against West Nile virus. Some cities, including Dallas, have been doing targeted ground spraying for months, Fort Worth has not but that could soon change.

Fort Worth Code Compliance director Brandon Bennett said he may recommend targeted ground spraying to the Fort Worth City Council this week.

"We're doing mosquito traps and the mosquitoes are at the Tarrant County Health department being tested, and if a percentage of those come back positive and warrant spraying treatments, then we'll go ahead and spray those areas," said Bennett.

It's something the city has always viewed as a last resort but as more cluster of human cases are being reported, he says it may be time to get more aggressive.

Code compliance officers spent Monday going door-to-door. Several human cases have popped up in the 76116 zip code.

"It's disturbing," said resident Anne Tomme. "But I don't know that there's a whole lot we can do about it, but keep on spraying ourselves and keep our bird baths clean."

But those simple things are exactly the steps the city wants people to be doing.

"We want people to take action to protect themselves, protect their neighbors, protect the schools, protect everybody," said Bennett. "This is going to take a village to get through."

Fort Worth is also implementing the 5x5 plan, asking residents to check their own home for standing water, then spread the word to five neighbors to their right and left.

The city will also begin a reverse 9-1-1 calling system to update residents on West Nile virus in the area and educate them on prevention.


West Nile Virus:
Click here for complete coverage of the outbreak of West Nile virus in North Texas. Find updated numbers of human cases, spraying schedules, and more FAQs about the disease.

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