6 West Nile Virus Need-to-Knows
The Coppell Independent School District is working with the City of Coppell and the Dallas County Health Department to ensure the school community is aware of information regarding the recent outbreak of West Nile Virus. Due to the warm winter and recent rains, there has been a higher than usual number of human West Nile Virus cases in Texas this year, particularly in our area. Here are a few precautions for parents:
- If there is a concern about a child's possible exposure to mosquitos, parents should apply insect repellent with DEET on their child before the child leaves home. Children will be allowed to re-apply insect repellent provided it is in non-aerosol form. Tip: Consider single-use wipes.
- If parents wish to send insect repellent to school, please consult with the school nurse.
- West Nile Virus is NOT spread from person to person. The only way to contract it is from the bite of an infected mosquito that has fed on an infected bird or other mammal.
- Coppell ISD is reminding all staff and students who take part in outside activities to be sure to use insect repellent with DEET. If your child is involved in outside activities of any kind, please encourage them to use insect repellent.
- The school district is actively cooperating with the City of Coppell to reduce potential mosquito breeding sites (standing water) and resting sites (tall grasses and weeds) on all district property. The CISD Maintenance Department has utilized mosquito "dunks" (tablets) to prevent egg and larvae development. In addition, they have drilled drainage holes on all tires used in athletic practice areas. Areas where students are currently practicing (i.e. extra-curricular activities) are mainly located in open areas, on pavement, or short grass/dirt – which are generally less conducive for harboring mosquitos.
- To defend against West Nile Virus, remember the three D's:
DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
Drain– Remove all areas of standing water. Check for clogged roof gutters as water can pool in debris and stand for long periods of time. Empty water from the drain collection dishes placed beneath potted plants. Change the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and pet dishes daily. Tablets that can be placed in standing water to kill breeding mosquitos are also available at many hardware/home stores.
Dress– A good way to avoid mosquito bites is by wearing long, loose, light-colored clothing at all times when outdoors.
West Nile Virus information can be found on several websites, including: