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Possible Spraying After Zika Case Upsets Alexandria Officials

An Alexandria resident has contracted the Zika virus - and the reaction has upset city officials.

Details are limited but the Alexandria Police Department posted to Facebook a lengthy message explaining its view of the situation.

The city was notified that a resident contracted Zika while traveling. The police department stated that the Northern Kentucky Health Department notified the Kentucky Department of Agriculture so that it could spray a chemical in and around the neighborhood where the person lives. 

SEE ALSO: Health Department explains spraying of insecticides as part of anti-Zika measures

The problem, police stated, is that city officials were not notified until after the spraying. "We respect and will protect the privacy of the individual," the Facebook post read. "However, we are concerned that you, the public, were not notified, especially if your home/property was sprayed with an insecticide without your prior knowledge. This chemical has the potential to affect aquatic life and crops according to the manufactures (sic) website."

Notice was sent to Mayor Bill Rachford in the form of a letter, shared on Twitter by a WCPO reporter, explaining that the public would not be notified of the spraying, which would take place around the Zika patient's home and one or two streets nearby.

"Yes, it is a public health issue," the police department said in its Facebook post that was also shared on the city's official account. "They can and did spray without notification. We feel you should have been notified, so you could keep your doors and windows closed overnight."

The post claimed that city officials were not notified prior to Tuesday.

"Spraying is a precautionary measure. A person with Zika can infect a mosquito if bitten, and the mosquito can infect others. The spraying is targeted in areas with confirmed cases of Zika to help reduce the risk of local mosquitoes becoming infected," said Emily Gresham Wherle, spokesperson for the Northern Kentucky Health Department in an email to The River City News. "It is done overnight and with a product that is considered safe by the EPA and widely used for this type of thing.

"Decision to spray in Northern Kentucky is made in coordination with the state Department for Public Health and Department of Agriculture, according to state protocols."

The Northern Kentucky Health Department last month began trapping mosquitoes for the purpose of monitoring the potential for Zika. In June, a Boone County man became Northern Kentucky's first local case of the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes fever and rashes in humans. The City of Covington recently launched a repair project to battle stagnant water to ward off mosquitoes because of the potential of the Zika virus.

In May, the NKY Health Department produced an op-ed to inform local residents how to stay safe from the virus.

This story will be updated when more information is available.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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