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Supervisors to Approve West Nile Program

Tuesday vote will authorize program to survey mosquitoes for West Nile Virus, which killed a county resident and affected eight others in 2012.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve Tuesday the 2013 Disease Carrying Insects program, a series of measures to prevent outbreaks of West Nile Virus and other illnesses.

The county’s annual fight against insect-borne disease involves monitoring mosquitoes and ticks, surveillance on any human cases in the county, and educating residents on effective prevention.

According to a Fairfax County Department of Health report, more than 5,300 cases of West Nile Virus were reported across the United States in 2012, 243 of the ending in death. 

In Virginia, 29 residents were diagnosed with West Nile, three of whom died. Of the eight cases reported in Fairfax County last year, one resident died.

Under the program, mosquitoes and ticks would be captured and tested for West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. And because mosquitoes breed on standing water, officials would also treat stormwater catch basins, as well as other breeding areas.

These measures are financed through the Integrated Pest Management Program Fund, which collects money from countywide tax levy of .001 cents per $100 of assessed value (formerly Fund 116). In FY2013, the county budgeted about $1,993,00 for the effort.

Special outreach attention will be given to at-risk demographics, such as residents over 50 years old, who are likely to develop more severe strains of West Nile if contracted.

 

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