Since last summer’s epidemic, the health departments in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties have significantly increased testing for the West Nile virus, trapping more mosquitoes than ever before.
NBC 5 Investigates built an in-depth, online database designed to show by zip code how frequently the four largest counties in North Texas conduct mosquito trapping and testing for West Nile virus. The database also provides the most recent date a zip code was tested and the number of mosquitoes in that zip code that could potentially carry the West Nile virus. Culex mosquitoes are the ones that can potentially carry the virus. Southern House mosquitoes are the Culex species found most frequently in North Texas.
To get that information, NBC 5 Investigates spent weeks filing open records requests with the health departments in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties to obtain this year’s test results. Those results were compared with the data that each health department releases publicly online
Only Collin and Denton counties provide those numbers online and only Denton County breaks it down to zip code level.
The county health departments said they will provide more details to anyone who files a request for information like NBC 5 Investigates did. But on their websites, they’re trying to strike a balance between too little information and too much.
“Whether we strike that right balance or not, I don’t know. We try to find that balance — we listen to the calls coming in from the people.” source