April 18, 2016
Mosquito season is the time for active self-protection
MURPHY (April 18, 2016) Mosquito season is rapidly approaching its peak, as Murphy officials are once again urging residents to follow the simple, yet effective, methods of self-protection, says Bernie Parker, Director of Public Services.
“Waiting to put in place self-protection strategies once the mosquitos start biting is too late,” he said. “The City of Murphy has already started its annual campaign against breeding mosquitos, so it’s not too early for residents to do so as well.”
The recent announcement by Denton and Dallas Counties of the discovery of the first two cases of Zika virus within their jurisdictions should be a strong reminder of the dangers associated with inaction. While not pinpointing the location of the two individuals, officials have verified that the infected female and male had either recently traveled to a country with active transmission or were in contact with someone who had. Other infection agents that have been identified in the local area include Chikungunya and Dengue.
Murphy has dealt with the presence of West Nile Virus within close proximity in the past, and some experts are warning that the Zika virus may spread to the United States as soon as this year. Residents who expect to travel internationally are cautioned to ward against being bitten by mosquitos by taking the recommended actions. Especially vulnerable are pregnant women and those who plan to become pregnant.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days. Unfortunately, officials warn that, unlike the mosquitos that carry the West Nile Virus, the ones that carry the Zika virus are apt to bite during the daylight hours.
“As part of our annual education campaign, we are asking people to put into practice the Four Ds of prevention,” he said. “That is an effective way of limiting the number of mosquitos in the area.”
• Drain all standing water and prevent water from pooling;
• Dress in long pants and sleeves outdoors;
• DEET-based insect repellant should be used when outdoors;
• Dawn and dusk are the times of day when mosquitoes are most active.
“Kids, older citizens and anyone with a weakened immune system are most at risk,” he added. “We all need to be aware of these steps and implement them right now.” Murphy has had a Mosquito Management Program in place for several years and has already begun implementation of the preventive steps in the program. However, the City’s program does not diminish or replace the steps that residents should take individually.