City Office: 254-826-5351

Public Health District

West Nile Virus Educational Campaign for McLennan County
August 22, 2012

Dr. Farley Verner, The Health Authority for McLennan County, and Health District staff met on August 17, 2012 to discuss tactics to reach residents that may be at higher risk for West Nile Virus (WNV) exposure. There is no effective treatment for West Nile illnesses, so it is important to prevent mosquito bites. The Health District will continue to recommend the 4 D’s to minimize the risk of mosquito bites.
• Drain– standing or stagnant water
• Defend–wearing mosquito repellent with DEET
• Dress– to protect your skin such as wearing long sleeves and pants, and
• Dusk/Dawn–avoiding outdoor activities during dusk and dawn.

To further increase awareness, Health District staff will begin targeting specific groups that may have more outside activities or have compromised health issues. We will provide brochures, flyers and other age-appropriate education materials, and purchase promotional sized mosquito repellent to hand out at health fairs and other settings. Also, the Health District has several staff members that will be available to speak with groups on West Nile Virus and mosquito control.

Schools and football season start this month (August). Staff will provide educational information for the schools to give to parents and children (age-appropriate learning sheets). Schools will be asked to offer mosquito repellant at outdoor activities. (ex. Football games)

Sporting Clubs
Health District staff will work with the City of Waco Parks and Recreation Department and other McLennan County entities to identify groups that offer outdoor activities such as:

• Soccer Associations
• Pee Wee Football
• Woodway Family Center
• Midway Family Center
• Waco Family Y
• Other McLennan County programs/groups

Neighborhood Associations
Staff will work with the neighborhood associations to get information out to their members about creating an environment that is not mosquito-friendly. Through the City of Waco contact, April Hull, information can be sent via email, as well as scheduling meetings with leaders of each association.

We would also work with any other identified neighborhood associations/groups to dispense information to their residents.

High-Risk Individuals
The elderly and those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to developing West Nile illness when bitten by an infected mosquito. Specialized medical clinics will be provided with information that can be given to their clients on reducing the risk of WNV infection.
• Kidney/Dialysis Centers
• Oncology Practices
• Pharmacies

Information will be provided to Senior groups.
• Central Texas Senior Ministries
• Area Senior Centers

Other City/County Departments
Health District will offer guidance to other City Departments on reducing the risk of exposure while working. Our first contact will be with those departments that work outside but will be available for other departments wanting training or guidance.

Health Education Department
The Health Education team works out in the community on a daily basis. We will ensure they have educational material available to hand out to the public.

Please feel free to contact the Health District staff to provide information on groups or interested parties in your community, who might benefit from any of these services,

Alicia Hernandez, Program Administrator of Public Health Nursing 254-750-5485
David Litke, Program Administrator of Environmental Health 254-750-5465
Kelly Crain, Public Information Officer 254-750-5429