more than 100 cases in north Texas
West Nile Virus has reached near epidemic proportions in Texas this summer, with eight deaths and more than 100 cases, mainly in north Texas but stretching as far south as Austin.
1200 WOAI news reports the Bexar County Metropolitan Health District is committed to making sure it doesn’t show up here.
Assistant Health Director Dr. Vincent Nathan says so far there have been no cases of West Nile and no deaths from the diseases, and the best way to keep it that way is for all homeowners to make sure all standing water is removed.
"These are mosquito borne diseases, and standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes," he said.
He says even bird baths, small decorative fountains, and places in your yard where water can pool, even for an hour or so, when you're doing your once a week yard watering can harbor mosquitoes.
He says it's also a good idea to protect yourself during the worst times of the day.
"Not go outside when mosquitoes are biting, and mosquitoes have a tendency to bite early in the morning, and late in the evenings after the sun goes down," he said.
If you do go outside during those times, Dr. Nathan says it's a great idea to cover up, especially wear long pants.
West Nile made its first appearance in the U.S. in 1999 after first being identified in the 1930s. He says it's symptoms are nothing to ignore.
"High fevers, headaches, stiffness in the neck, tremors, people can actually go into comas, muscle weaknesses."