NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The time is now to be taking steps to protect yourselves and your family from the West Nile virus.

The Middle Tennessee area just saw several days of rain which left behind pockets of mosquito-friendly standing water.

Nashville has a lot of neighborhoods surrounded by woods, places where water can pool and mosquitoes can breed.

“That is just what they’re looking for to breed in,” said Hugh Atkins with the Metro Public Health Department.

Experts said it’s not a matter of if mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Nashville, rather when.

Batches test positive in Davidson County every year.

Last year 45 of the 800 mosquitoes trapped by the health department tested positive for West Nile. Two people contracted the virus.

“The elderly and the young are more susceptible because of weakened immune systems,” said Atkins.

According to the health department, they typically see West Nile cases in Madison, Donelson, Antioch and Woodbine.

Crews are out targeting those areas, trapping mosquitoes and testing them.

The health department said it hasn’t had any positive cases yet, but people need to be aware.

“The best think you can do is get some EPA-approved Deet containing mosquito repellent and if you’re going to be out at dusk, that’s when they like to feed, wear long sleeves and long pants because the mosquitoes are going to be there. You’re going to get bitten,” said Atkins. “You need to try to reduce your chances of getting bitten. That’s the best thing you can do.”

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your area, clean out any bird baths periodically, check your kids’ toys for water. Even a bottle cap full of water left on your deck can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009. Carley currently covers the crime beat around Middle Tennessee.

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