DCHHS urges residents to prepare for mosquito season

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson is urging residents to take precaution against West Nile and Zika virus as mosquito season approaches.

In a press conference Friday, DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson advised that mosquito season is generally from May to November. With mosquito season approaching, prevention is the key to combating the threat of mosquito borne diseases.

“As the weather gets warmer it is important for residents to take sensible steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Citizens can assist the county and municipal mosquito abatement teams by being proactive with mosquito control at their homes and workplaces.”

Residents can help themselves and the community by getting rid of mosquito breeding spots–

  • Eliminate standing water in and around your home. Throw out or empty and scrub items that hold water such as tires,buckets, planters, toys, pools and birdbaths.
  • Dispose of trash such as plastic bags, bottle caps, open drink cans or bottles, disposable cups and food wrappers.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your home by using air conditioning when available and making sure there are screens onwindows and doors and that screens do not have holes.
  • Clean out roof gutters and down-spouts. Ensure tarps and swimming pool covers are positioned so water drains off.

DCHHS is launching a public education and awareness campaign that includes a website where residents can find a wealth of information about eliminating mosquitoes. The prevention campaign also includes a host of public health events, updated printed materials, public service announcements and social media campaigns.

“The fight against mosquito-borne viruses is a joint effort among us all,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority. “Stopping mosquitoes where they breed by draining or treating standing water is especially crucial, but residents should adhere to all protection recommendations. Residents can protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito bites by remembering and practicing the 4Ds.”

  • DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approvedrepellents and follow instructions.
  • Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
  • Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace.
  • Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

In 2016, there were 62 imported cases of Zika virus, 61 confirmed cases of West Nile virus and three WNV deaths. To date, DCHHS has confirmed four imported cases Dallas County residents this year.

For more information on mosquito prevention, go to: http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/mosquito_prevention.html.