The Denton County Health Department will begin ground spraying in Lantana Thursday after a mosquito sample was found positive for the West Nile virus.
So far this year, 27 mosquito samples have been detected with the virus including 22 in Highland Village, two in Flower Mound and one each in Carrollton, Denton and Lewisville. Both Highland Village and Flower Mound have begun spraying affected areas.
Juan Rodriguez, chief epidemiologist with the Denton County Health Department, said the recent spate of positive mosquito tests are indicative of a normal season.
“Every year it changes a lot,” he said. “In more normal years, positive tests occur in the late summer/early fall. When things start going early, it’s an indicator of a bad season.”
West Nile virus first appeared in Denton County in 2002. For the 2014 season, no human cases have been reported to date. In 2013, a total of nine people were infected with the virus. In 2012, 184 people contracted the virus and two deaths were reported.
The ground spraying schedule in Lantana, weather permitting, is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Ground spraying will occur in the northern end of Lantana, which falls east of the Argyle and Bartonville town limits, and west of Copper Canyon town limits. See a detailed map of the spray area here.
Residents in the affected area are being informed. Denton County Health Department officials were notified of the positive mosquito sample by the Department of State Health Services lab late Tuesday.
“The goal is to protect our residents in Denton County,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Andy Eads, in a news release. “We are following the recommendation from health officials.”
“We want to take a proactive approach, rather than reactive,” said Denton County Judge Mary Horn in the news release. “The hope is to minimize the potential for human cases in our county.”
The health department’s West Nile Virus website offers information about the West Nile virus, including tips for reducing mosquitoes around the home, frequently asked questions and printable flyers and posters.