HOUSTON — Two more people have died from West Nile Virus in Houston, bringing the total of deaths in the city to three, according to the city health department.
There have been a total of 13 West Nile virus cases in the City of Houston and six in Harris County.
On Wednesday evening, mosquito control crews in Harris County plan to launch an aerial attack on mosquitoes in a 63,000-acre stretch of west and northwest Harris County.
“The amount that is sprayed out there is very, very small because mosquitoes don’t require a lot of insecticide to be killed,” said Mosquito Control official Rudy Bueno.
He also advised people in the affected areas to stay indoors while the operation is under way, and to bring their pets inside as well. The spraying is expected to begin around 8:30 p.m.
The county decided to start aerial spraying because of an increase in West Nile activity. More than 300 mosquitoes and nearly 100 dead birds have tested positive for the virus.
"Harris County is experiencing an increase of West Nile Virus infection in mosquitoes and, most notably, in the dead bird population," said Dr. Rudy Bueno, Director of HCPHES Mosquito Control. "This situation has prompted the need to supplement the ongoing countywide ground treatment with aerial treatment in the designated areas to better protect the health of our residents."
Parents who brought their children to play at Memorial Park Wednesday evening expressed concern over Houston’s mounting death toll from the West Nile virus.
“I’m really worried,” said Olga Dassayeva, as her children climbed on the monkey bars. “It’s shocking and I will try to stay away from the parks.”
Other parents said they were taking extra precautions to keep their kids safe.
“I’m not concerned,” said Nick Nikolovski, who said he believed his 3-year-old daughter was well protected. “They were out at the school this afternoon, and every time they go out they actually spray them.”
Mosquito control officials in North Texas have also been spraying by air. The death toll there has climbed to 16.