The city Health Department Tuesday reported five new cases of human West Nile. That brings the total Houston cases to 43.
Harris County health officials still have 16 human cases in the county. Fort Bend County reported two new cases bringing its total to eight cases.
Four people have died of West Nile in our viewing area - three in Houston and one in El Campo.
Texas is having its worst ever outbreak of West Nile virus with 47 deaths, which is about half of all the West Nile deaths in the country this year.
Overall, at least 68 human cases have been confirmed across the ABC13 viewing area with four deaths.
As for other counties in our area as of last Friday, Montgomery County has reported four cases with no deaths. Wharton County has had one case with one death. Liberty County and Galveston County have both had one case with zero deaths. 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.
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.