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Expert: Mosquitoes plentiful after wet spring but risk of disease low

SAN ANTONIO – A wet spring means mosquitoes are buzzing and biting.

"They're uncomfortable when you get bit. They're itchy. They're no fun," said Kelley Boston, director of infection prevention at Methodist Healthcare System.

A mosquito bite can also pack a more dangerous punch in the form of several diseases, Boston said.

"Following a mosquito bite, most of these start with fever, headache, body aches," she said.

Mosquitoes in Texas can carry West Nile virus, which is mostly a threat to the very young, old or immune compromised.

They can also carry malaria.

"We have the right type of mosquitoes, but we don't have very many people with malaria. Malaria doesn't have any host other than humans," Boston said. "A new disease of concern that's kind of spread to our area from the Caribbean and other areas is chikungunya virus. A lot of these are -- they are all mosquito born. They're not common in the state of Texas."

Even though the bite is usually more annoying than dangerous, Boston recommends avoiding mosquitoes.

"You want to make sure that when you can wear long sleeves and long pants, which is a lot to ask here in San Antonio in the summer," she said.

She also recommends eliminating standing water and wearing a spray containing deet or lemon eucalyptus.

"Protect yourself. Protect your family. Avoid those mosquito bites. Be aware of these diseases, but it's not something to ruin your summer fun," Boston said.