Mosquito season has begun and a case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Anderson, about 150 miles north of Houston. An adult male contracted the neuroinvasive type of the disease. Counties surrounding Houston are geared up for the challenges ahead.
Last year was historic. The worst outbreak of West Nile Virus in history exploded across the U.S., with 40% of the cases living in Texas. The state was declared a disaster area. There were more than 1,868 reported cases in the state and 90 deaths.
Dr. Rudy Bueno, Director of Harris County Mosquito Control, tells KTRH, “We have expanded our county surveillance for West Nile Virus. We cover the entire county with about 268 trap locations. We go out on a weekly basis and collect mosquitoes from those sites, bring them back to the laboratory and test them for West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis. If we get a positive sample we send our trucks to the affected areas and we’ll spray that area.”
You can go to the Harris County website HERE to check for the latest details.
Prevention of exposure to West Nile Virus is common sense and worth a reminder. Apply repellent containing DEET before going outside, especially around dusk and dawn. Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts at dusk and dawn. Check your property and area around you to make sure there is no standing water. A mosquito goes from an egg to adult in a week. Use air conditioning and screens without holes on doors and windows.
Dr. Buenos has a great suggestion if you’re going to be sitting outside, perhaps at a barbecue or sitting by the pool. Set up a box fan and turn it on. Not only will you feel relief, Buenos says mosquitoes aren’t strong flyers against a heavy current of air.