City, County Leaders Workout West Nile Plan
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County leaders are comparing notes, working together and ironing out plans for the best way to move forward as more and more cases of West Nile hit the metro.
The West Nile outbreak had city leaders on a conference call early Thursday evening with the Health Department and emergency management officials. That call is keeping everyone in government sectors on the same page. Right now, that page does not call for spraying city neighborhoods.
"We have 621 square miles in Oklahoma City, so spraying would be very, very difficult," Oklahoma City spokesperson Kristy Yager said.
Plus, spraying isn't even an option if the wind is moving faster than 10 mph, according to the city. Standing water is the main concern, and that is what the city and county are focused on.
With this summer's drought, the city admits it was not expecting a mosquito problem.
"It's a strange year to have an outbreak like this," Yager said.
People who experience a mosquito infestation on city property are urged to call the city at (405) 297-2535 and report the location. Those who have issues on private property should call the Oklahoma City-County Health Department at (405) 427-8651.
"Oklahoma County has a mosquito management program, and it's been an effective program over the years," Yager said.
Officials say they will treat problem areas with a larvicide to prevent mosquitos from growing wings. In the meantime, experts say residents should avoid koi ponds, pools and other bodies of stagnant water. Also, be sure to use a mosquito spray to avoid the potentially fatal virus.
The city says it has never sprayed for mosquitos, but it is not ruling out that possibility for the future.