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West Nile Uptick Leads to Aerial Spraying

Harris County Mosquito Control will take to the air to combat West Nile Virus. Portions of northwest Harris County will be sprayed after mosquito samples detected evidence of the disease. Pat Hernandez has more.


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The aerial spray operation over 100-thousand acres will begin after dusk and continue before sunrise tomorrow. Recent surveillance findings by Harris County Mosquito Control detected an increase in West Nile Virus in the northwest areas of Harris County. Director Dr. Rudy Bueno says they expected activity to pick up.

“That area has always been pretty active as far as West Nile virus is concerned, so this is not the first time we’ve done aerial treatments there. And, everytime we spray it’s very effective in knocking out the disease and (the) mosquito populations.”

image of Pat Hernandez and Dr. Rudy Bueno

County-wide surveillance is conducted year round but the hot weather is ideal for mosquito activity to increase. Dr. Bueno says clusters of disease activity were detected, which made aerial spraying necessary in the designated areas.

“From about April through October, we go out there and we collect at each of those 268 operational areas. When it starts to cool down we reduce that number, simply because that’s the time that a virus activity starts to decline. But when it starts to heat up in April and May and in particular, like June through September, that’s when the risk of the virus increases.”

To date, West Nile Virus has been confirmed in 55-mosquito samples.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.

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