With the summer season upon us, and the monsoon season on its way, mosquitoes are more prevalent. The Department of Public Health is joining other agencies and organizations across the country reminding residents that mosquitoes can spread various diseases.
“We have a disease like West Nile Virus that is now commonplace in our region and we have seen a great amount of people get sick and even die from this disease over the years,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We don’t need to wait for a novel virus like Zika to know that mosquitoes might be small creatures, but the diseases they carry can be major.”
During the week of June 25 through July 1 the Department will be using social media to drive home the importance of preventing mosquito breeding and using personal protection to prevent getting bitten.
Residents can like or follow EP Public Health on Facebook or Twitter for regular reminders on mosquito prevention.
While the Zika Virus continues to generate interest across the country and around the world, no Zika-carrying mosquitoes have been found in our area. Since there are other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, local officials want to make sure mosquito prevention methods are being practiced to reduce the prevalence of any mosquito-borne disease.
Last season a total of three imported cases of Zika were reported in El Paso, and there were six confirmed cases of West Nile Virus recorded. Other diseases like Chikungunya and Dengue are also emerging with their spread from South and Central America into the United States.
Residents are asked to practice “The 3 D’s”:
- Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
- Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus
In addition, the Environmental Services Vector Control Program continues its efforts to decrease the mosquito population by trapping mosquitos and fogging areas where a large presence is found. Vector Control treats all areas around the city where breeding can occur such as canals and reservoirs.