Richardson Continues to Spray after West Nile Virus Detected

A hand from a mosquito bite. Mosquito drinking blood
Image by Andrei Sauko

For three continuous weeks, the city of Richardson has sprayed their eastern areas to combat the spread of the West Nile Virus (WNV). Richardson officials recently found mosquitos that tested positive inside routine trap assessments. The virus, which is typically transmitted via mosquito, has been a problem for Northern Texas in the past.

The CDC observed Texas as being one of the most affected states by the West Nile Virus. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen its fair share of WNV. According to the Texas Children’s Hospital, an outbreak in August 2012 infected 200 and took the lives of 8. CDC cumulative maps with data dating back to 1999, show Texas regularly in triple-digits for caseloads annually.

On September 3rd, an 83-year-old Irving man died from WNV. Irving city workers sprayed the surrounding area and will continue to test mosquitoes caught in their 57 total traps. The Dallas County Health Department maintained that both Richardson and Irving continue to send monthly samples to their laboratories for testing.

University of California San Francisco states that WNV is seldom spread from human-to-human contact and is primarily transmitted from infected mosquitoes. Based on CDC data and statistics, most people who contract West Nile Virus have nothing to fear; 8 out of 10 people develop no symptoms. However, WNV can still pose a threat, especially to the elderly. In approximately 1 in 150 cases, patients develop spinal and nervous systems issues, which can be fatal.

As for Richardson, the city plans on conducting its third spray on Wednesday night. From 9 pm to 4:30 am, Murphy Road, south to Renner Road, and west to Rowlett Creek will be sprayed by health workers. Residents should not be disrupted by the spraying, but are encouraged to follow guidelines to prevent WNV infection. The CDC recommends draining standing water, using insect repellent, and covering up as ways to lower your risk of any mosquito-borne illness.

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