Area counties launch campaigns to protect elderly from West Nile

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 7:02 PM

DALLAS –  Hard work is what Lula Jordan credits for 101 healthy years.

"I worked in the field, chopped cotton, plow," Jordan said. "Cut wood to sell to the gin."

She's heard about West Nile virus and has no intention of letting a little mosquito end her good health.

"No, I don't want them taking me down," says Jordan with certainty.  

Thanks to a donation from Cutter to the Dallas County Health Department, Dallas County Meals on Wheels clients like Lula are now receiving free insect repellant delivered along with their lunch.

The vast majority of West Nile deaths in North Texas have been in the elderly. Eighty percent of those sickened admit they didn't use bug spray, county officials say.

In Fort Worth, volunteers are giving repellant to the homeless and residents in senior centers.

"We've got to make sure that people understand they actually need to use repellant," says Tarrant County Health Department Environmental Health Manager David Jefferson, "In order to keep mosquitoes away and protect people from west nile virus carrying mosquitos."

Many elderly shut-ins can't afford or can't get out to buy bug spray. Like Tarrant County and Fort Worth, Dallas County launched its free mosquito repellant campaign earlier this week.

Thanks to this little donation, Lula Jordan can enjoy sitting on her porch again -- and planning her 102nd birthday.

 

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