SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

Fort Worth collects mosquitoes for West Nile virus survey

The City of Fort Worth renewed its mosquito-surveillance partnership with the University of North Texas Health Science Center on Wednesday.

Through the partnership, UNTHSC graduate students and scientists collect mosquitoes from more than 60 sites across Fort Worth, which are then tested for West Nile virus. The group uses grass clippings and standing water as bait. The traps are set on Mondays and collected on Tuesdays.

Joon-Hak Lee, a medical etymologist, analyzes the results on a weekly basis in order to determine the need for intervention. The reports are delivered to the city on Fridays.

"The weekly snapshot of West Nile virus activity gives us a real-time look at the situation and the opportunity to stop any potential problems," Betsy Price, the Mayor of Fort Worth, said. "We have a program in place that allows us to be proactive and ensures that we get the most accurate and timely information to our residents as quickly as possible."

The partnership also includes a community outreach element, which involves communication between the city and neighborhood groups.

"We're applying science-based best public health practices to create a West Nile virus-prevention and control program that can be used as a model for other cities in Texas," Lee, an assistant professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, said.