PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Plano on Monday launched an intense effort to track cases of West Nile virus, deploying special tracking traps aimed at giving city leaders an advanced warning system on the threat posed by the mosquito-borne infection.
Monday night the city planted 10 traps in mosquito-prone areas — hoping to get the region’s most thorough and accurate picture on the current state of the virus.
Ryan Janowski with the city health department assembled one of the traps in the Country Place neighborhood off Ranier Road.
Joggers and cyclists passing by said they were glad to see cities like Plano taking the initiative after an outbreak of the West Nile Virus caught North Texas off guard last summer.
“I’ve heard stuff on the news about so I’m glad there’s something being done,” resident Beth Nowell told CBS 11 News.
The city said it plans to double the number of traps used last year to collect samples.
“We want to catch as much on the front end while we can,” Janowski said.
In addition to regularly testing for infected mosquitoes, Plano workers are also spraying pesticides in area parks, to kill mosquito larva before they reach maturity.
Crews are also working to identify low-flow creeks within the city and are taking steps to prevent the water from sitting and becoming stagnant, which is an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes.
As far as the mosquito traps, city officials expect to collect samples from them in a few days and have results by the end of next week.
In 2012, the Collin County Health Department reported more than 75 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus.
Health officials are urging North Texans to remember the five D’s when it comes to controlling the presence of mosquitoes.
- DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, birdbaths, and cleaning out gutters;
- DEET—Use bug spray and protect clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET;
- DRESS—Dress in light- colored clothing with long sleeves and wear long pants;
- DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn;
- DOORS—Keep door and window screens in good repair
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