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Eastside residents concerned over mosquito problem, standing water

The second case of west nile virus confirmed in El Paso is concerning some on the east side.

The Department of Public Health says the patient is a man from the east side, in his early 50’s who does not have any underlying medical conditions and is currently recovering at home. The first case of West Nile Virus confirmed this season was in May. That case involved a man in his mid-40’s who also resides in east El Paso.

Officials say the location of both men happens to be a coincidence.

“We have central, we have north east we have valley, lower valley, it’s evenly distributed,” Fernando Gonzalez, with the El Paso Department of Public Health said.

Although residents on the east side of El Paso say they’re getting hit hard the most.

“There’s a ponding area where I live, plus Album Park, I don’t think they treat it enough,” one resident said. “I’m allergic to mosquitos too so I get big welts when I get bitten.”

In fact, multiple residents ABC-7 spoke with said the water that gathers at Album Park has a big mosquito problem.

Gonzalez said vector control sets traps all over the city.

“Vector control is very well aware of the hot spots that we have in our community and they take care of them with the highest level of professionalism,” Gonzalez said.

Although vector control told ABC-7 they don’t patrol the park. Instead, they rely on residents to call if they’re concerned, and crews will take care of the problem. Adding, workers aren’t on a routine schedule to spray specific areas.

They highly encourage any resident who sees a lot of mosquitos in a certain area to call 3-1-1 and vector control will go out to the area.

Residents are also required to take care of their property. If a resident has a backyard pool that’s attracting mosquitos, they may receive a citation if its not taken care of in a timely manner.

A total of six West Nile Virus cases were reported last season. Department officials are urging residents to “Tip and Toss” items in their yards to prevent standing water. It takes less than a tablespoon of water to provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Residents are also reminded to practice the “four Ds”: DEET – Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions. DRESS – When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Rather, spray permethrin-containing products only on clothing. DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with Zika can be active throughout the day, residents should take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (from dusk to dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. DRAIN – Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around and outside your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis. You can also mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. To report standing water or mosquito breeding call 3-1-1.

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