West Nile virus cases increase in city of Houston, Harris, Montgomery and Ft Bend counties

West Nile virus cases continue to rise in the Houston area.

September 18, 2012 1:24:06 PM PDT
Human cases of the West Nile virus have increased in Houston and Harris and Fort Bend counties.

The city of Houston Tuesday reported two new cases, bringing the total number of cases in Houston to 57. The city says a southwest Houston woman between the ages of 25-34 was diagnosed, as well as a man, 35 to 44 years old, from northwest Houston. Four people have died in Houston from the virus.

Harris County announced its 22nd case -- a man aged 35 to 44 years old in north Harris County. Zero deaths have been reported in the county.

Fort Bend County also announced another new case: a 45- to 54-year-old woman from Katy. No deaths have been reported in Ft. Bend Co.

In addition, Montgomery County now has six cases, up from four, with zero deaths.

Brazoria County said they now have three confirmed human cases, with no deaths.

As for other counties in our area, Waller and Wharton counties have each reported one case with one death. And Liberty County and Galveston County have both had one case with zero deaths.

Overall, more than 85 human cases have been confirmed across the ABC13 viewing area with five deaths -- the four in Houston and one in El Campo.

Federal health officials say this is the nation's worst year for the mosquito-borne virus since it was discovered in New York 13 years ago.

There are more than 1,400 cases of West Nile in the United States. Texas has at least 52 of the country's 118 West Nile related deaths.

Several Texas counties have been spraying pesticide to help reduce the mosquito population.

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.

Load Comments