San Angelo takes precaution for West Nile
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 17:09
With over 783 confirmed cases and 31 deaths in Texas alone, San Angelo is in its third week of spraying for the West Nile Virus to exterminate the mosquitoes in the city.
“I believe it is a good idea for the sprayings because if we can prevent this virus with the right resources to do so then, why not,” freshman Amanda Siebert said.
The city has spent $17,000 on a 30-day supply of “Skeeter Blitz.” According to www.sanangelotexas.us, the product label explains that the spray is a “quick knockdown, low odor, non-corrosive” chemical used to kill adult mosquitoes.
“[The] majority of citizens are for the sprayings, but there are some citizens who don’t want the chemical sprayed,” Superintendent of San Angelo Street and Bridge Department Gary Ayers said.
San Angelo is split into six separate districts with ASU falling into District Five. Districts One and Six are treated first, then Districts Two and Five, and finally Districts Three and Four. The city has two spray trucks that attend to streets and alleys daily from 5 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.
“The reports about West Nile coming out of Dallas put everyone on alert,” Ayers said. “We had some confirmed cases here, and we then made the decision to begin with the sprayings.”
According to www.dshs.state.texas.us, mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus and cases usually occur in late summer or early fall. A vaccine for the virus has not yet been created but several companies are working to make one.
“You can go to www.angelo.edu/health to learn more about West Nile, and make sure to visit the clinic if you are having any problems,” RN at University Health Clinic Tammy Speicale said.
Eighty percent of people bitten by mosquitoes do not experience any symptoms as only a few mosquitoes are infected with the virus.
Some mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea, which last three to six days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there have been nearly 1,600 cases of West Nile in the U.S., a 40 percent increase from last week’s cases.
“Whenever you are outside use insect repellent with Deet,” Speciale said. “Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn so if possible wear long sleeves and pants or stay indoors.”