Knox County health officials already fighting mosquitoes

Knox County health officials already fighting mosquitoes

Posted:
The county plans to began testing for West Nile Virus, but will not begin spraying until a bird, horse or human tests positive. The county plans to began testing for West Nile Virus, but will not begin spraying until a bird, horse or human tests positive.
"On this coming Monday, we will start trapping to test adult mosquitoes for West Nile Virus," said Ronnie Nease. "On this coming Monday, we will start trapping to test adult mosquitoes for West Nile Virus," said Ronnie Nease.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Health Department says recent wet weather is making the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and they have already been out fighting the mosquitoes for the past two months.

"I'm not concerned right at the moment, but I think as the summer progresses it's going to get quite a bit worse," said Knoxville mom Aislynn Barsce, who was with her children at Fountain City Park on Friday.

Knox County health officials say as the summer months continue, the number of mosquitos will rise.

"We can never tell what the mosquito population is going to be," said Knox County Health Department Director of Environmental Health Ronnie Nease. "The years you would think, with all the rain we've had, that we would have a lot of mosquitoes. We just don't know until the season starts."

They started to treat standing water throughout the county in March, and starting next week they will be testing for the West Nile Virus.

"On this coming Monday, we will start trapping to test adult mosquitoes for West Nile Virus," said Nease.

They will not start spraying neighborhoods until either a bird, horse, or human tests positive for the virus.

Spraying usually continues into October.

Health officials recommend people take precautions, so they will not get bit.

"We usually use some kind of repellant or citronella candles or anything that keeps those little bugs away," said Barsce.

"We can't control all the mosquitoes in Knox County," said Nease. "Knox County is a large county."      

Fortunately in Knox County, the number of West Nile Virus cases has not been high.

In 2012, there were only two confirmed human cases of the virus. The highest number they have ever had is three.

If you have a concern about mosquitoes in your neighborhood, you can contact your local health department to report it.

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