Health — 09 October 2012
1st West Nile Virus Death Reported in Davidson County

NASHVILLE – Tenn., October 9, 2012 – Metro Public Health Department officials have been notified of the first West Nile virus death this year in Davidson County. The death occurred in a 70-year-old Davidson County man with underlying medical conditions. Last week this man’s illness was reported as the first human case of West Nile virus infection in this year.

The occurrence of Nashville’s first confirmed WNV death is a serious reminder to take steps to avoid biting mosquitoes.

Reports of WNV cases have been rare in Davidson County. There were no human cases reported in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and a total of seven cases over the past 10 years.

This year WNV has been confirmed in batches of mosquitoes in Antioch, Goodlettsville, Hermitage, Madison, North Nashville, and South Nashville. The mosquitoes that are known to carry WNV are more active at dusk and nighttime hours.

The first killing frost will end mosquito season. Until then take steps to avoid biting mosquitoes, including:

  • Limit time outdoors at dusk and nighttime hours when mosquitoes are present.
  • If you must be outdoors then wear a mosquito repellent that is approved for use by the CDC – those include products that contain DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Make sure your windows and doors have screens and are in good repair.

Health Department officials recommend taking steps to reduce mosquito breeding areas. This includes:

  • Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard – especially in children’s toys, bird baths, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trash cans, and wheelbarrows.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with Gambusia fish.
  • Apply mosquito dunks in standing water areas on your property.
  • Cut back overgrown vegetation (mosquito hiding areas).

The Health Department’s Pest Management staff has increased trapping efforts in the areas where the mosquitoes tested positive. Staff will also continue to monitor standing water in the area and apply larvicide when mosquito larvae are present.

The Health Department began trapping mosquitoes and sending them to the Tennessee Department of Health’s lab the first week in May.

Health Department staff traps mosquitoes in all parts of Davidson County and conducts surveillance of standing water. Pest management staff applies larvicide when mosquito larvae are present.

The Metro Public Health Department has a mosquito control information hotline with a recorded message about mosquito control efforts in Davidson County – 340-5668. Information is also available at the Health Department’s website – and our Facebook page

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