West Nile virus detected in mosquito in Abilene; City will now spray insecticide

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Insecticide will now be sprayed after a mosquito tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to Abilene city officials.

Officials said the spraying will happen this upcoming Monday and Tuesday between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., in the area bound by the 1500 block of Chesnut St., the 300 block of ES 27th St., the 2800 block of S. Treadaway Blvd., and the 2100 block of S. 24th St.

The City of Abilene Environmental Health Department said it uses a phased response approach to mosquito treament, which limits the spraying of inseticide to when mosquito-borne illness is detected through routine surveillance. The City said this practice also works best to protect beneficial insects and wildlife.

Because the type of mosquito found infected with West Nile is known to be active during the evening hours, city officials said staff will spray then so the insecticid eis effective.

“While the insecticide the City uses is approved for treatment by the Environmental Protection Agency, residents in the spraying area should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors,” the City of Abilene said in a statement. “Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner off until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible. Residents should also make plans to keep animals indoors during this time frame until the fog has dissipated and the residue is dry. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.”

The West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, officials said. Residents are encouraced to follow the four Ds to best protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outside.
  • Use insect repellent containing deet.
  • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood.
  • Avoid being outdoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

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