West Nile back in North Texas

It’s about that time - West Nile is back again.

The West Nile virus has returned to Dallas, according to the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services Department (DCHHS). The department confirmed three positive tests for virus were found in mosquitos this week.

“The only thing we can say is remove standing water, use mosquito repellent, there’s no vaccine,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “You have to reduce, you can’t eliminate all mosquitos, but you have to reduce the breathing opportunities around your house.” 

When it comes to mosquitos and beating West Nile virus experts say remember the four Ds: Deet, dress, drain, and, dusk and dawn.

“Wear long sleeve shirts, don’t go out at dusk time when mosquitos are active, use repellant obviously if you’re gonna be outside,” said Dr. Mark Till, an emergency room physician at Presbyterian Hospital, adding that the risk of contracting the West Nile virus from a mosquito is low. “Even that is below one out of one hundred. Even if you get the disease 80 percent of the time you don’t have any symptoms, less than one-percent of the time do you have any real symptoms.”

There is a chance you’ve had West Nile and didn’t even know it. Still, there are some who will have a severe reaction to the virus.

“Those people have severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, altered mental status, confusion, seizures, paralysis,” Till said.

The virus was found in mosquitos in Balch Springs and Mesquite. Both cities sprayed. In 2016, there were 654 positive tests in Dallas county. The first case was logged in 2002.

“It only takes a cap of water to breed a large number of mosquitos,” Thompson said. “If we lose the ground attack, which is ground spraying, then we have to go to aerial.”
  

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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