Number of West Nile virus cases in Houston reaches 60

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

September 21, 2012 5:07:16 PM PDT
The city of Houston is reporting three more cases of the West Nile virus, bringing the city's total to 60.

The city says the cases were confirmed in two males -- one between the ages of 25-34 and another between 45-54 -- and one female between the ages of 75-84. The older male victim and the woman both live in northeast Houston. The younger male lives in southeast Houston.

Four people have died in Houston from the virus.

Earlier this week, Harris County announced its 22nd case Fort Bend County also announced another new case. In addition, Montgomery County has six cases, while Brazoria County confirms three. No deaths have been reported in those counties.

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 88 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.


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