HOUSTON - Harris County Mosquito Control crews are testing thousands of mosquitoes for West Nile virus, and they're finding a lot of it.
A majority of those sampled in the county, between 90 and 95 percent, are carrying the disease, officials said.
"We have definitely seen an increase of West Nile in mosquitoes," said Rudy Bueno, Harris County Mosquito Control Director. "We're up to 225 positive samples. The main mosquito that transmits the disease is found everywhere throughout the county."
Though there are hundreds of kinds of mosquitoes found in southeast Texas. The type carrying West Nile thrives in this unusually wet summer. That is why Bueno said it is so important to protect yourself with mosquito repellant if you are outside and to take the right precautions inside your home.
"Make sure windows, doors are screened properly because this type of mosquito does like to migrate indoors," said Bueno. "That's why it's called the Southern House Mosquito."
Nine Houstonians have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. One case has been fatal. A southwest Houston man between the ages of 75 and 84 died on Aug. 1.
Last year, the number of West Nile deaths in the city of Houston was zero.
The other people diagnosed with West Nile virus are:
- a northeast Houston woman between the ages of 35 and 44
- a northwest Houston woman between the ages of 45 and 54
- a northwest Houston woman between the ages of 55 and 74
- a northwest Houston man between the ages of 55 and 74
- a northeast Houston woman between the ages of 55 and 74
- a southeast Houston woman between the ages of 55 and 74
- a southeast Houston woman between the ages of 45 and 54
- a southwest Houston man between the ages of 45 and 54
Most people become infected within three to 10 days of a bite from an infected mosquito.
Symptoms include fever, headache, body tremors and visual problems.
Doctors said if you start to feel any of these things you should seek medical help right away.
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