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West Nile Virus in Houston Nearly Gone

The West Nile Virus outbreak in the Houston region is nearly over. Health officials say they're finding fewer infected mosquitoes.

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This was the worst year for West Nile Virus in Texas since the disease was first discovered here in 2002.

But Harris County Mosquito Control Director Dr. Rudy Bueno says the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes has dropped off significantly in the past two weeks.

“You know we were getting maybe between 50 and 70 samples that were positive a week in the mosquito pools. And now we’re seeing single digit and today the report that came in, we didn’t have any positive samples.”

Bueno says that’s typical for this time of year.

Mid- to late-September is when mosquitoes start dying off and West Nile virus disappears with them.

As for what we can expect next year, Dr. Bueno says there’s no way to predict it.

“A lot of it is definitely weather-dependent. It’s probably going to depend on what kind of winter we have and then, in the early spring especially, what kind of rains we have. So it’s just a shot in the dark right now as far as what we’re going to see.”

This year there were 26 human cases in Harris County and 64 cases in the City of Houston, including four deaths. Fort Bend County reported eleven cases. Across the state, 61 people died from the disease.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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