Prairie Village taking steps to stop spread of mosquitoes carrying Zika virus

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 23:22:55-04

One pack of mosquito dunks costs about $12, but Prairie Village is hoping they're worth much more than that. 

For years the city has been treating standing water to stop mosquito larvae from hatching, but now those efforts are being ramped up to stop Zika virus.

"It makes a huge impact because if the mosquitoes can't breed in this water, then we're cutting down on that population or we're hoping to cut down on that population significantly," said code enforcement officer Marcia Gradinger.

The Public Works Department is pitching in as well. "Sealing some cracks and treating some areas along drainage ditches also," Gradinger said. 

We met Meryl Cooper, a Johnson County mom, out playing with her kids at a park in Prairie Village. She knows the risks associated with Zika along with her friends who are expecting.

"My pregnant friends, yeah, definitely it's a big concern. I know a bunch of people who have been canceling trips to Mexico or south just because you can never be too safe," Cooper said. "I'd say this summer, yeah, I think everyone is sort of on a little high alert more than they otherwise would be about mosquitoes." 

Lee Norman, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Hospital, says there have been no transmissions of the virus in Kansas or Missouri. Although the mosquitoes that carry Zika are in our area, Norman believes the number of people carrying the virus would have to increase significantly to be considered a major threat. Still, he encourages pregnant women and women who are trying to get pregnant consult travel warnings before making any trips to areas known for high numbers of Zika cases. 

It's not something city workers want to take any chances on. Gradinger told 41 Action News, "It's my understanding it's moving this way, so we want to do everything we can to prevent that in our city." 

Prairie Village will have information about its efforts to fight Zika mosquitoes in the next issue of the Johnson County Health Department newsletter. It should be in mailboxes at the end of June.



Dia Wall can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter:

Follow @DiaWall

Connect on Facebook: