Plano, Texas to battle West Nile this season with new ‘Fix It Plano’ app

With West Nile virus (WNV) season just around the corner and following a outbreak year in which more than 1,700 were infected in the Lone Star State, the city of Plano, Texas will be arming themselves and citizens with a mobile app to report dead birds to notify city officials, according to City of Plano News March 29.

The free mobile app, Fix it Plano, will allow citizens to take a photo of a dead bird, and with the location-enabled app, the Plano Environmental Health Department will be able to identify the bird and its location through GPS coordinates. From here, city officials can target mosquito control spraying and other activities.

The system becomes available Monday and can be downloaded from iTunes or viewed online at

The Plano Environmental Health Department has already begun monitoring mosquito activity and will be hosting a Mosquito Awareness Seminar on April 11 at the Plano Municipal Center.

Plano, TX

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Here the public can learn more about preventing mosquito bites and reducing mosquito breeding sites.

In 2012, the United States reported 5,387 WNV cases, with one third (1,739) of the cases reported just from Texas, resulting in 243 and 76 deaths, respectively.

Collin County, Texas, where Plano is located, reported 55 cases of the mosquito borne viral disease; however, the neighboring counties of Dallas, Tarrant and Denton recorded 371, 242 and 177 cases each. These counts were higher than most states totals.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection.

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