West Nile Virus
- 2 More West Nile Deaths Confirmed In Travis County
- Texas State Fair Operators Hoping To Keep West Nile Away
- Central Texas Man Can't Walk After West Nile Infection
- Should You be Worried about West Nile?
- North Texan At Least 55th Texas West Nile Death
- El Paso Woman At Least 54th Texas West Nile Death
- Health Officials Expect Fewer Cases Of West Nile After Rains
- Another West Nile Death Reported In North Texas
- CDC: Nation On Track For Deadliest West Nile Year
- 2 More West Nile Deaths Reported In North Texas
- Different Approaches to Handling West Nile Threat in Central Texas
- Special West Nile Broadcast
- Georgetown Spraying Pesticide To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay
- 3rd West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County
- Questions Remain For Austin West Nile Spraying
- West Nile Found Across Austin
- Advice For Clearing Mosquitoes, Avoiding West Nile Virus
- Mosquito Relief For Central Texas Still Months Away
- Breaking Down West Nile Virus Risk
- El Paso Reports West Nile Death, TX Death Toll Climbs To 44
- West Nile Worriers Crowd ER's
- Worst Year Ever For West Nile In Texas
- Substantial Percentage Of West Nile Cases Being Confirmed by Blood Banks
- 2nd West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County
- Officials Report 36th Texas West Nile death
- Texas West Nile Cases More Than Double In 2 Weeks
- 2 More Texas West Nile Fever Deaths Reported
- 2 More West Nile Fever Deaths Reported In Texas
- 4 More West Nile Deaths Reported In Texas
- Pesticide Alternatives To Ward Off Mosquitoes
- Researchers Make Progress on West Nile Vaccine
- Dallas Area West Nile Virus Spraying Interrupted
- Williamson County, Like Texas, Having Unusually Bad Year For West Nile
- West Nile Death Confirmed In Williamson County
- Dallas-Area Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Starts Thursday Night
- Dallas Signs Up For Aerial Spraying Over West Nile Virus
- West Nile Virus Changing Behaviors
- 17 Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In Travis County
- How Many West Nile Cases Warrant Mosquito Spraying in Austin?
- 2 Diagnosed With West Nile Virus In Williamson County, 2 in Hays County
- Texas Seeing Bulk Of West Nile Cases
Georgetown Spraying Pesticide To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay
Updated: Friday, September 7 2012, 06:29 PM CDT
Several weeks ago, hard-hit Dallas County began aerial pesticide spraying following more than a dozen West Nile related deaths in the area. We went looking to see if any Central Texas communities were considering that drastic step to keep residents safe. We found one city, Georgetown, which has been routinely spraying certain areas for years.
In the very early morning hours every Friday, city workers spray every city park with a chemical to kill mosquitoes. The parks are targeted for the weekends, to keep the most people protected from mosquito bites.
Jacque Virgilio runs and rides her bike in San Gabriel Park in Georgetown. She’s never noticed a problem with mosquitoes there before, but is not a fan of the city spraying chemicals to kill them.
“I think that's toxic, I think that's absolutely toxic, there's got to be a better way,” said Virgilio. “I don't know what it is. I just think there's got to be a better way than polluting everyone's lungs.”
But Park goers Jeremy Humphrey and Ariel Hill, while unaware the city was spraying, have a different take on the proactive measures.
“I'd rather them spray and get rid of West Nile than get bitten by one and get the West Nile,” said Humphrey. “I support it, it's definitely worth it.”
The city spends about $10,000 to spray every city park once a week during the summer months, according to city officials. It's something the city's done for many years.
So far this year, there have been six confirmed cases of West Nile, with one fatality in Williamson County.
”In comparison to what's going on statewide and based on our population, we are below average, so that's the good news,” said Marcus Cooper with Williamson County and Cities Health District.
But whether or not that “below average” number of cases can be linked to the spraying effort in the city parks, is nearly impossible to confirm. Health officials say there are just too many variables that go into the number of cases in any given city.
“In some cases you may have people who've been bitten in other areas and then traveled home,” explained Cooper. “Or were bitten while they were working in other cities and population areas. So all of those are factors we have to take into account.”
Georgetown used to spray in residential areas and in parks, five nights a week to cover the entire city. That cost as much as $45,000 more a year. The extra money to cover residential areas was cut for the City’s budget in 2008.
By Karen Kiley.