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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

September 24, 2002 

MOSQUITO, DEAD BIRD CALLS SET TO OUTPACE 2001
 55 PERCENT TO 60 PERCENT  

Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Public Health Pest Management Program has worked countless nights and weekends keeping up with the calls and service requests this mosquito season—and there are still a few more weeks left.  Historically, October 15 is considered the end of the season, although mosquito program response usually goes into November. 
As of September 19, 2002, Environmental Health Specialists have collected 86 birds to be tested for West Nile virus (WNV) at the NC State Lab. These birds were collected from 22 zip code areas in the county between May 1 and August 26, 2002.  Some highlighted results are: 

Thirty-six of these specimens have tested positive for WNV (42%)
As of September 16, 2002, 33% of all WNV positive birds in the State were identified in Mecklenburg County
Three zip codes (28209, 28210, 28211) accounted for 53% of the submissions and 86% of the WNV positive birds
More than 300 mosquito pools have been collected and submitted to the NC and SC state labs for West Nile virus testing.  Each pool contains anywhere from one to 50 individual adult mosquitoes. Over half of those test results are pending. So far, only one WNV positive mosquito pool -- collected in the 28211 zip code area -- has been identified. 

As of September 19, 2002, the Public Health Pest Management Program has received and processed 1,345 mosquito complaints and service requests in 2002.  In all of 2001, the program received and responded to 930 service requests.  Projections are that by season's end, there will be a 55 percent to 60 percent increase in service requests. 

Separate phone lines were established this year in order to speed-up response to consumer calls.  Anyone with questions or complaints about mosquitoes should call 704-336-5101.   To report dead birds, call the Department's dead bird hotline at 704-353-0350.  Answers to frequently asked questions can also be found on the Health Department's Web site at www.meckhealth.org.



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