Storms bring rain & more mosquitoes

Officials worried about increase of West Nile virus

HOUSTON - Storms over the past nine days have brought several inches of rain, standing water in many areas and a lot of unwanted pests. According to experts, an explosion of mosquitoes is on the way, and possibly more cases of West Nile virus.

Standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Scientists working for Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services have been busy collecting and testing samples of mosquitoes, looking for West Nile virus.

"The real important thing to know is that right now we are on the uptick of West Nile virus," said Dr. Rudy Bueno.

According to Bueno, a mosquito uptick will be the result of all the rain the Houston area has seen the past several days. As a result, crews will be out spraying for mosquitoes in certain neighborhoods.

In Harris County this year, there have been three confirmed human cases of West Nile. In the Dallas area, there have been 16 human cases with one death.

"This is going to be an extremely busy year as far as West Nile virus, and we want to make sure we minimize exposure of the public to this," said Bueno.

Experts advise residents to remove any standing water from their area so mosquitoes do not have a place to lay eggs. They also warn dead birds may also be a sign of West Nile and should be reported.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, head ache, fatigue, body aches, swollen lymph glands and skin rash.

For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

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