West Nile virus cases continue to rise in Houston, Harris Co. and Ft. Bend Co.

September 7, 2012 2:56:57 PM PDT
The West Nile virus continues to spread throughout our area as both the city of Houston and Fort Bend County have reported new human cases.

In Houston, six new cases have been reported: three on Tuesday and three on Thursday. Of the three new cases Tuesday, one was a southwest Houston woman aged 55-74 years old, one was a woman between the ages of 25-34 from northwest Houston and the other was a northwest Houston man between 15-24.

Thursday's cases were a man between 55-74 from northwest Houston and the other two were women aged 55-74 from southeast Houston. The total number of deaths remains at three for the city of Houston.

In Fort Bend County, the latest person infected is a Richmond woman between 45-54. She's the fifth West Nile case in the county with zero deaths.

As for Harris County, three new cases were reported Friday bringing its total to 16 cases, with no fatalities.

Overall, at least 55 human cases have been confirmed across the ABC13 viewing area with four deaths.

As for other counties in our area, Montgomery County has reported four cases with no deaths. Wharton County has had one case with one death. Liberty County has had one case with zero deaths. Galveston County, Brazoria County and Waller County have all had zero cases thus far.

This year the Centers for Disease Control is reporting a record number of deaths and infections linked to West Nile. There have been human cases in 44 states, but the virus has hit Texas the hardest with more than a thousand infections and at least 40 deaths.

Mosquito-proof your property

HCPHES continues to encourage residents to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats around their property.

  • Remove or empty all outside containers that may hold water such as flowerpots, tires and toys.
  • Bird baths and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week.
  • Clean out gutters and make sure windows and doors have proper screening.
  • Do not "feed" the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs from sidewalks and driveways and dispose of them properly.

Prevent mosquito breeding in boats

  • Cover your boat and store it in a covered place.
  • Drain any standing water and make sure the bilge pump is working.
  • Turn over canoes, kayaks and small boats to store upside down.

Personal protection

Historically, in Harris County, July through September is the peak timeframe for disease transmission to humans. To reduce the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes, practice personal protective measures.

  • When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 and apply as directed on the label.
  • If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

For additional information and/or maps of West Nile Virus activity in Harris County, visit www.hcphes.org.

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