Health Department starts new notification plan for West Nile virus

Saturday, May 3, 2008 | 3:12 p.m. CDT; updated 4:20 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — This spring, the Columbia/Boone County Health Department is preparing to combat the West Nile virus.

One new preparation includes a mosquito spraying notification plan, according to a news release.

To help prevent West Nile virus, residents should:

— Dispose of cans and plastic containers, or other water holding containers — Remove all discarded tires — Clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds — Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs — Make sure windows and doors have screens that are in condition — Wear long sleeves if possible — Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers — Make sure gutters drain properly — Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use — Change water in birdbaths at least weekly

If there is a confirmed human case of West Nile, the Health Department will automatically notify registered citizens if a spraying is scheduled in their area.

If a spraying occurs, it is done in the area the person was infected and half a mile surrounding the area.

Residents can register for the plan by calling the environmental health division at 874-7346 or by visiting

The health department wants to remind people to take preventative measures against West Nile by reducing the mosquito population.

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