MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Experts say the worst of the West Nile outbreak is over thanks to colder weather. Mosquitoes do not fly when the temperature is below 55 degrees. The Shelby County Vector Control has parked their mosquito spray trucks for the season and will not spray any areas the rest of the year.
The West Nile Virus first appeared in the Mid-South in May. There were 13 confirmed cases in Shelby County, but no one died from the virus. Mississippi saw the worst of the virus with 234 confirmed human cases, up from just 52 in 2011.
Dr. Dan Sprenger, Shelby County Vector Control, says, “This year was a little more severe. The outbreak began about a month earlier and it spread rapidly. So, people were exposed for a long period of time.”
Even though the bulk of the mosquito population has gone into hibernation, the Shelby County Vector control will still be treating areas of water with insecticide to kill mosquito larvae. Insecticide left over from this season will be saved until next year.
Vector Control is already preparing for next year by ordering more insecticide in case the Mid-South faces another outbreak. Their annual budget for mosquito and West Nile prevention is $3.4 million.