Mosquito battle on as West Nile virus hits state hard

North Texas sees dozens of cases; Bexar at 0, so far

Author: Marilyn Moritz, Reporter,
Published On: Jul 23 2012 03:44:06 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 23 2012 03:24:34 PM CDT
West Nile mosquito

As the number of people infected with West Nile virus continues to rise across the state, Metro Health is waging battle with fast-breeding mosquitoes.  

No cases of humans contracting the mosquito-borne disease have been reported in  Bexar County, according to Metro Health Department.

"There's a good possibility we'll see it here," said Leonard Mechler, head of vector control for Metro Health.

City trucks were out at Camargo Park spraying mosquito-ridden areas along Leon Creek.

"We've found them in ditches, old tires, cemeteries and anything that contains water," Mechler said.

North Texas has reported more than 70 cases of humans contracting West Nile virus, while several other counties, including McLennan and Zavala and reported a few more.

Two people in the Dallas area died after contracting West Nile, as did another man in the Waco area. All were elderly or had compromised health beforehand.

Most people who get the virus experience only mild symptoms, and many never even know that had it, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Still, Tiffany Jones, is concerned and takes precautions to protect her children.

"I have a friend that has West Nile, so it does scare me a little bit."

Her friend contracted the disease out of state, she said.

While pest control companies can treat private properties and city crews can spray public parks and other areas, experts say the key is to remove mosquito breeding grounds like outdoor tires, buckets or even pet bowls that contain standing water.

Avoiding being outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, can also help prevent exposure.

Wearing mosquito repellent that contains DEET or picaridan can also reduce bug bites.