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Positive Cases of West Nile in Shelby County

Five zip codes in Shelby County, TN tested positive for having mosquitoes with the west nile virus.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - West Nile is a deadly disease and anyone can catch it. The Shelby County Health Control has been monitoring mosquitoes and pinpointed five zip codes in Shelby County testing positive for the virus.

The zip codes with infected mosquitoes include: 38109, 38122, 38134, and 38135. Experts say the disease is popping up about four weeks early this year.

Dr. Dan Sprenger, Entomologist, says, “This is the earliest we've ever seen this kind of widespread activity. The people living in these areas can expect the virus to be with them for up to 20 weeks.”

Last year, mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile, but not until June. Dr. Sprenger says that the early arrival of the virus could result in more human cases this year. Fifteen people in Shelby County contracted the disease in 2011.

Experts warn that the disease-carrying mosquitoes only come out at night. Residents should not sit outdoors in the evening if possible. Otherwise, wear DEET-containing repellent.

The Shelby County Vector Control began spraying insecticides in infected areas this week. More truck-mounted spraying will take place this week according to the following schedule:

Tuesday, May 15th
8:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
ZIP Codes: 38108, 38111, 38112, 38117, 38120, 38122, 38128

Wednesday, May 16th
8:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
ZIP Codes: 38108, 38122, 38128, 38133, 38134, 38135

Thursday, May 17th
8:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
ZIP Codes: 38002, 38053, 38128, 38133, 38135

Monday, May 21st
8:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
ZIP Codes: 38109. 38116

Residents can help repel mosquitoes from their homes by emptying water-filled objects like gutters and bird baths. Experts estimate 15-percent of residents are raising mosquitoes and may not be aware. Mosquito season does not end until the middle of November.

People over the age of 50 and children under 5 are at greatest risk of getting the virus.
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