Harris County spraying for mosquitoes after positive West Nile test

Mosquitoes are expected to be quite active until about mid-September

June 15, 2013 7:59:04 AM PDT
Harris County health officials have started an all-out assault on mosquitoes after the first case of the West Nile virus was confirmed in one of the pesky bugs.

The disease was found in a mosquito captured June 11 in the Atascocita area near Lake Houston. It's the first case this year.

Last night, workers had its first pesticide spray of the year.

Harris County Health and Environmental Services also has more than 250 mosquito traps throughout the county.

Mosquitoes are expected to be quite active over the next few months until about mid-September. Public health officials say people are most at risk for mosquito bites at dusk. They urge everyone to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats from their property and to take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by disease-carrying mosquitoes.

    Mosquito-Proof Your Property

  • Don't "feed" the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs.
  • Remove/empty any containers that can hold water such as tires, flowerpots and toys.
  • Change water in birdbaths and pet water bowls every 3 to 5 days.
  • Keep rain gutters free of debris.
  • Make sure screens are in good condition.
  • 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.
  • Invert canoes, kayaks and small boats to store.
  • Personal Protection

  • 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 from dusk on because this is when the primary mosquito (Culex) that transmits West Nile Virus is most active.

West Nile virus was responsible for four deaths in Houston last year.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus show no or only mild symptoms such as: low grade fever and headache. More severe signs and symptoms can include: high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, encephalitis and -- rarely -- death. If you think you have been infected with West Nile virus, contact your health care provider.

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