August 23, 2002
HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANSWERS NEIGHBORHOOD'S CALL
FOR COMMUNITY MEETING ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS
WHAT: Community Meeting about West Nile virus.
WHEN: Saturday, August 24
WHERE: 2324 LaSalle Street (the old public library)
WHO: Health Director Peter Safir, Medical Director Stephen Keener, Public Health Pest Management Program Chief Dennis Salmen.
WHY: Neighborhood leaders in Mecklenburg County's northwest corridor told the Health Department that they had particular concerns about West Nile virus and mosquitoes. They suggested that a community meeting would be the best way to spread the message about the Department's involvement in mosquito control and surveillance, self-protection and the spread of the disease in Mecklenburg County.
The Health Department's "Fighting Back" program, which works specifically with the County's northwest corridor neighborhoods, helped organize Saturday's community meeting. Organizers extended personal invitations to neighborhood leaders and those who had expressed an interest in learning more about West Nile virus.
So far this year, 19 birds collected in Mecklenburg County have tested positive for West Nile virus. One mosquito pool has also tested positive for the virus, confirming that the West Nile infections between birds and mosquitoes are occurring here in Mecklenburg County. Health Department officials say the best protection from West Nile is to limit exposure to mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding grounds on your property. Saturday's meeting will give the Department an opportunity to take these messages personally into the northwest corridor.