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Human Cases Of West Nile Virus Are Increasing

More people are found to be infected with the West Nile virus

The latest human case of West Nile virus was confirmed in Fort Bend County with 3. Kaila Thompson is with the Department of Health and Human Services:

“Typically in the past, Fort Bend County has been on a very low average scale in comparison to neighboring counties, and it’s not high, it’s nothing unusual, but the season isn’t over,” said Thompson.

She says both aerial and ground spraying have been concentrated in parts of the county where most of the positive results were found. The same is true in Montgomery County, where some 240,000 acres have been targeted. Meanwhile, Kathy Barton with Houston’s Department of Health and Human Services says last month was pretty active for the breeding of the pesky mosquitoes:

Barton: “We had 32 cases in August, which brought our annual total this to 33.” 

Hernandez: “Is 33 an unusually high number?” as

Barton: “It’s a little high. Last year, we didn’t have any, but in 2012 we had, I believe 82 cases.”

Hernandez: “Of course just like hurricane season, we’re smack dab in the middle of it?”

Barton: “We probably will see another several weeks of West Nile infection.”

There is no medication to treat or prevent West Nile virus. So people with symptoms that include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue typically recover on their own. But symptoms may last for several weeks.

Dr. Mustapha Debboun is director of Mosquito Control for Harris County. He says crews have been busy collecting mosquito samples.

“Since June, we’ve monitoring and surveying and bringing mosquitoes to the lab, and checking to see if they have West Nile virus in them,” said Debboun.

He says the mosquitoes are collected from over 260-sites throughout the county.

“We’ve collected over 500,000, and out of those 500,000, we have found over 1,100 mosquito pools with West Nile virus positive in them,” said Debboun. “Last season, the entire season from June to October, we had about 150 West Nile virus mosquito pools positive. Right now, we still haven’t finished the season, and we are over a thousand, one hundred.”

Elderly residents and people with pre-existing conditions are advised to stay indoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. But if you need to be outdoors, remember to dress in long sleeves and pants and to spray repellent using DEET on thin clothing for protection. Don’t forget to drain standing water around your home. That’s a breeding site for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus.

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