Grayson Co. develops West Nile prevention strategy

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Grayson County health department officials, commissioners, mayors and emergency managers got together this morning, to come up with a plan to tackle West Nile.

"Based on the activity that's happened to the south of us, we felt that it was time to get the county leaders together to talk about this," County Judge Drue Bynum said.

Their goal: to come up with a mosquito-control strategy and an answer this question:

"What might happen, what could happen between now and Thanksgiving? Could we have two or three dozen human West Nile virus cases?" Grayson County Health Department Director John Teel said.

The consensus at the meeting is that the virus has not created an emergency situation in the county.

"We don't believe we have an emergency, we do have some confirmed cases, we don't have any fatalities," Bynum said.

Right now the county has seven cases of West Nile: four confirmed, three probable. But at what point will it become an emergency?

"You know I think there's a couple of trigger points here. Obviously, if we have an exponential rise in confirmed cases of West Nile, then that could be a trigger point to lead us into doing something else," Bynum said.

The county's strategy from here on out is to:
- monitor the seven cases of West Nile Virus it has right now
- trap and observe mosquitoes in the area
- and educate the public about how to prevent being bitten.

Some local moms say more needs to be done than just educating the public.

"Well education is always great, but obviously if there's several cases popping up, we need to do something about it before it's out of hand," Karee Earnhart said.

"I don't believe it's enough. I don't believe it's enough," Alyssa Price said.

We asked John Teel with the health department if bug spray with deet is safe for you and your kids.

He says it is safe and approved by the EPA, as long as you follow the guidelines on the bottle.

Here are some things you can do at home to prevent being bitten:
- dump out your bird baths and get rid of standing water
- wear bug spray and make sure it has deet in it
- wear long sleeves and pants if you can
- and try to stay indoors during dawn and dusk.

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