West Nile still a concern here
By By CONNIE NOWLIN Special to The Standard
Although the weather is cooling off, there is still a significant risk of West Nile virus in Escambia County.
According to Ricky Elliott, an environmentalist with the county health department, three more birds have tested positive for the virus in the last week.
The county had made available larvae control briquettes that treated areas of standing water, but the supply has been exhausted until next spring.
Meanwhile, the county is still spraying for mosquitoes.
So far this year, there have been 10 crows that tested positive for West Nile, two in the Bradley community, one in the Dixie community, two on Highway 21 north of Atmore, two inside Atmore city limits, one on Foshee Road in Brewton, one in Poarch and one on Sunset Drive in Atmore. There have also been two blue jays that tested positive for West Nile, one in the Appleton community and one north of Atmore. There has been one horse death of West Nile, on Jay Road. There have been three horse deaths attributed to Eastern equine encephalitis, one in the Appleton community, one in the Bradley community and one in the Brewton area.
There have been two human deaths in the area from encephalitis, both in the Appleton community, although one was in Escambia County and one in Conecuh County.
In order to avoid being bitten by an virus-carrying mosquito, residents are encouraged to remain indoors during peak mosquito activity hours, dawn and dusk, to wear long sleeves and pants as well as socks if they must be out of doors when mosquitoes are active, and to use an insect repellant with the active ingredient DEET.
For more information on avoiding mosquito bites and controlling the pests, you may check the Web site of the Alabama Department of Health at http://www.adph.org, or the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov.