Major elements of our plan of action for Zika virus
1. Case detection and investigation
- Our staff communicate and coordinate with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), which will perform laboratory testing for Zika virus.
- We communicate and coordinate also with area hospitals and medical providers, to detect and investigate possible cases and facilitate proper testing.
2. Public communication about risk and prevention
- The same prevention measures and messages we use for West Nile virus will apply for prevention of the spread of Zika virus.
- It will continue to be important to highlight the importance of removing standing water and containers. For example through annual backyard inspection day and through our response to calls from the public about mosquito concerns.
- As mosquito season approaches we will encourage people to avoid mosquito bites using safe and effective repellents and barriers.
3. Mosquito source reduction
- Operationally, our Pest Management staff will be in neighborhoods across Nashville monitoring standing water and applying larvicide to standing water when mosquito larvae are present. Monitoring will continue throughout mosquito season, which typically ends in October or November.
- Reducing standing water & breeding sites will require vigilance by homeowners, businesses, and government agencies. Anticipate more communication about this as mosquito season nears.
Neither specific testing of mosquitoes for Zika virus, nor spraying to kill adult mosquitoes, is likely to be a component of our response based on currently available information.
TDH and CDC have readily available up-to-date information on their websites and we will ensure appropriate links on the Metro Public Health Department site. Here’s a link to those sites:
CDC Zika information
Tennessee Department of Health Zika information
Moving forward, we anticipate receiving continued updates from CDC and TDH and will keep you informed of new information.