Number Of Mosquitoes With West Nile Surpasses That Of 2012

No human cases have been confirmed yet in Harris County.

This year’s first human case in the Houston area has been confirmed in Montgomery County.

In Harris County, more than 500 mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found so far this year. That eclipses all of 2012, which is considered one of the worst years for the virus.

Dr. Mustapha Debboun, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, said despite the high numbers, there haven’t been any human cases here yet.

“There’s no need to be scared,” he said, “because as far as Harris County, we are aware of the situation and we are going out, not only surveying every day, but we’re also treating every night the areas that are hot.”

Statewide, the Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed five human West Nile cases so far. That does not include the Montgomery case, which the state agency has not confirmed yet.

In 2012, there were 74 cases in Houston. Last year there were none here.

Debboun said there is no way of predicting this season’s outcome.

“We’ve tried predictive models and all that. Nothing really works because of the nature of what’s going on between the vector, the reservoir and the environment,” he said. “There are so many factors out there that nobody can really pinpoint and say, well, these factors are occurring this season, we’re going to have more or we’re going to have less.”

He said to help avoid contracting the virus, people should use insect repellent outside, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, and make sure there is no standing water outside of their homes.



Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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