KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knox Co. Health Dept. confirmed West Nile Virus in mosquitoes nine of the 11 surveillance sites it checked, the agency announced. As a result, it has divided the affected areas into two groups and plan to spray the regions over the course of two nights, Thursday and Sunday.
(Click West Nile image to view slideshow of maps)
“It’s not unusual to find West Nile Virus in mosquitoes during this time of year, but we have more positive pools than usual,” said Dr. Martha Buchanan, KCHD director. “We’re increasing the number of trap sites to ensure our prevention efforts are being implemented efficiently.”
The number of surveillance site was upped from 11 to 14. The Health Dept. will place mosquito traps in the areas where epidemiological and demographic data indicate people would be most affected.
“This type of prevention is very important, and it is something Knox County can do to protect the community,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “But it is also very important for individuals to help out by taking a few simple steps to make sure their own property doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
Signs will be posted to alert people of the spraying. The Health Dept. will also send out reminders in =two weeks when it does follow up spraying.
One of the areas set to be sprayed is in east Knox County by Milligan Street. Michael Smith says mosquitoes are a big problem in the area.
"After they sprayed, they seemed to calm down a bit. But then they come back, regenerate or whatever," said Smith.
For August, Wednesay was a cooler summer night, so many people were out and about in the neighborhood. Ronnie Nease with the health department says lower temperatures will help reduce mosquitoes.
"So hopefully this cool weather we've been having this week has really lowered our counts in our trapping. It's just they've really lowered the numbers that we're catching this week," said Nease, the director of environmental health.
He says that's one of the differences between east Tennessee and Texas, where a mild winter and hot summer have helped cultivate the spread of the virus to around 600 cases. So far in Tennessee, there have only been five.
But Nease says you still need to keep an eye on the population.
"That's why we spray every two weeks because we're killing the adult population. So when they hatch out then we get the second phase adult population, hope to reduce it enough," said Nease.
Thursday night’s spray area includes all streets in these subdivisions:
Fourth Avenue area
Cooper Street north of W 5th. Avenue, W 5th. Avenue from Cooper Street to Boyd Street, W 4th. Avenue, Elm Street, Marion Street, Dameron Avenue, Hatton Avenue, Burgess Avenue, Baxter Avenue from Body Street to Wray Street, Lee Street and Bernard Avenue.
East Knox County around Milligan Street
All areas east of North Cherry Street; north of Magnolia Avenue; west of North Beaman Street and South of I- 40. Also included are Lakeside and Kirkwood Streets and American Avenue.
South Knox County
These streets: Echodale Lane, Wise Hill Road, Stone Road, Stoneoak Lane and Magazine Road from Stone Road to Martin Mill Pike; Royal Heights Drive, Judith Drive, Grandin Drive, Larry Drive, Beachwood Drive, Liveoak Drive, West Red Bud Road, Sarvis Drive South West and Maple Loop Road from Sarvis Drive to West Red Bud Road.
Gulf Park Community:
These streets: Dutchtown Road west-starting at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) to Blessed Way including Manis Lane, Dutchtown Harbor, Dutchtown Villas and CAK; includes Embarcadaro Drive, Cortez Drive, Tallahassee Drive, Ethan’s Glen subdivision and Sanders Road north from Dutchtown Road to Venice Road; Venice Road from Sanders road-east including Tampa Road and Suwannee Road; Gulf Park Drive, Pensacola Road, Sarasota Drive, Galveston Road, Mobile Drive; Briarwood Blvd. west of Chateaugay Road including Briarwood Drive and Laurel Hill Road.
Heron’s Point/Choto area
Amber Woods, Bayview West, Choto Farms, Heron’s Point, Livery, Mallard Bay, Tanglewood, Walnut Grove, and the Woods at Montgomery Cove. Subdivisions NOT included are: Bailey Park, Choto Fields, Greystone Court, and Montgomery Cove.
Cumberland Estates: Cumberland Estates subdivision, meaning all areas within Royalview Road, Robindale Road, Willowdale Drive, Silverhill Drive, Newberry Road, Landon Drive and Palmetto Boulevard. Also Short Road, High Drive and Nickle Road from Western Avenue to High Drive
Sunday night’s area involves:
East Governor John Sevier Highway:
Gov. John Sevier Highway-south of Strawberry Plains Pike to Trebor Lane: Thorngrove Pike-west of Gov. John Sevier Hwy. to Bales Lane.
Kimberlin Heights Road/Chapman Highway: South Creek Subdivision, Kimberlin Heights Road from Tipton Station Dr. to Deadrick Road, Sagefield Drive, Crossfield Drive, Basilfield Drive, Pennyroyal Drive, Twinleaf Lane, Harmon Road, Konda Drive and Karla Drive.
Homestead Drive, Hallbrook Road, Zirkle Drive, Marshall Drive, Arlie Drive, Old Maynardville Pike, Halls High and Middle School and Halls Library.