Officials: West Nile Virus cases on the rise in Texas

Published On: Jul 27 2012 07:17:09 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

Hot, wet weather is typical during the summer months in Texas, but it is also perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

According to a newly released study by state health officials, the number of West Nile cases in the Lone Star state are on the rise. In fact, the findings show West Nile cases in Texas have doubled, especially in the northern region.

"There are lows and there are highs, and this year we are high," Rudy Bueno, Director of the Harris County Mosquito Control Division said.

Bueno said the study does not come as a surprise.

"We had a very mild winter and because of that the mosquito population wasn't knocked out," Bueno said. "With rain that just amplifies the populations especially with standing water."

Statewide there have been 111 human West Nile virus cases so far this season. Of those cases, three people have died.

Health officials confirmed Friday the third victim died after contracting the virus in Dallas county.

"For us that's why our surveillance is so important, because it helps us keep track of what's going on," Bueno said.

While mosquito control crews work to treat effected areas, health officials suggest folks do what they can to also stay safe.

"I think people need to be concerned and take the proper precautions," Bueno said.

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.

According to doctors, if you start to feel any of these things to seek medical help, right away.