SCHD: West Nile detected in Shelby County mosquitoes

SCHD: West Nile detected in Shelby County mosquitoes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It is that time of year again. The battle with mosquitoes in the late summer months. And as COVID-19 continues to spread in the Mid-South, the Shelby County Health Department says there’s another virus that poses a threat to the community as well -- West Nile.

Shelby County's Environmental Health Administrator Kasia Smith-Alexander said West Nile Virus has not been passed to any humans this year, but they have seen in present in mosquitoes.

"We are noticing an uptick as far as mosquitoes," she said.

The health department has received some calls about the pesky insects.

“August and September is really the time of year when people start complaining a little bit more about the activity of mosquitoes,” said Smith-Alexander. “I think by people being out we’re starting to receive more complaints.”

SCHD says West Nile has been detected in mosquitoes in several zip codes this summer and is expected to spread to mosquitoes throughout the county as the season continues.

These are the following zip codes the virus has been detected:

  • 38016
  • 38107
  • 38108
  • 38109
  • 38115
  • 38122
  • 38126
  • 38128
  • 38133
  • 38134
  • 38135
  • 38141

No human West Nile cases have been detected in Shelby County so far this year, but with COVID-19 changing everyday life and increasing more outdoor activities, the health department wants to remind people to protect themselves.

“We are just making sure that people are aware of what’s going on, that West Nile is still in the community along with everything else we’re dealing with,” said Smith-Alexander.

The health department says although people of any age can contract West Nile, people over 60 years old are at greater risk.

Smith-Alexander said the health department is spraying for mosquitoes throughout the evening hours. She also wants to remind people to do what they can to protect themselves.

“We just want to make sure that people are cognizant when they are outside,” she said. “That they can either spray Deet, make sure that they have on long sleeves and pants just to make sure that they are covering up their exposed areas.”

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