By Joe King, [email protected]

(The Herald/ Archived Photo)

(The Herald/ Archived Photo)

SOUTH KNOXVILLE- The presence of West Nile Virus was detected in mosquitoes in and around South Knoxville Communities this week.

“We have ten traps set in South Knoxville and South Knox County,” said Knox County Health Department Environmental Health Director Ronnie Nease. “They are tested in a group, so there is no way to tell how many were infected with the virus.”

Since it can take up to two weeks for a human to show signs that they have contracted the West Nile Virus a good indicator is to examine horses and birds in the area for the virus.

Nease said as to date no birds or horses in South Knoxville or South Knox County have be recorded as having the virus, although inspections for the infection are only preformed on a sick horse or a dead bird.

As a preventative measure Biomist 30:30 was sprayed in South Knoxville the night of June 13.

“The spray is very effective,” Nease said. “We will see a significant reduction in the adult mosquitoes in our traps the week after we spray; about 75 to 80 percent. Then there will be a steady increase in mosquito population.”

After about two weeks of the increase, the mosquito population will return to the same level as before the spraying. To combat this, KCHD will do a follow-up spray two weeks after the initial one.

During the spraying residents are advised to stay indoors and remain inside until about 15 minutes after the spraying truck as pass.

Areas sprayed included Arthur Harmon Rd., Crossfield Dr., Konda Dr., Karla Dr., Kimberlin Heights Rd. and Twin Leaf Ln.

Biomist 30:30 carries for about 200 ft. radius from where it is sprayed. Although there are not any specific effects the spray could have on humans, it is highly advised to avoid contact. In fact, the spraying machine will even be turned off if a person or vehicle is seen during the time of distribution.

Nease said the most heavily populated areas of South Knoxville for mosquitoes are near Stone Rd. and Colonial Village.

Symptoms of the West Nile Virus include fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, back pain, skin rash, as well as occasional swollen lymph glands and eye pain.

In 2012, WNV killed 286 people in the United States, with the state of Texas being hard hit by this virus, making the year the deadliest on record for the United States.

“We’ve had them since 2000,” he said. “They’re everywhere.”

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