By Elsa Maxey
With the number of West Nile Virus cases continuing to rise in this area, residents are advised to minimize the potential of contracting the virus, which could turn out to be deadly. This means that attentive efforts are required to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, especially those on your property.
Last week, the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services received confirmation of an additional West Nile case involving a 25-34 year old male from Richmond bringing the count to 11 in Fort Bend County. To date there have been no deaths in this immediate, local area due to the virus. Neighboring Harris County has 22 West Nile Virus cases and so far, four people have died in Houston from the virus. Also according to reports, Montgomery County has six cases, Brazoria County has three, and Waller and Wharton counties have each reported one case with one death. Other accounts show Liberty County and Galveston County also with one case each, but no deaths.
Centers of Disease Control health officials advise that this is the nation’s worst year for the mosquito-borne virus since its discovery over a decade ago. In Texas, this is considered the worst year for West Nile Virus. Over half of the nation’s deaths, over 50, are reported to come from the state.
Those bad “skeeters” spread the virus to people they bite and due to the high number of cases, they continue to remain in the news. The good Skeeters, a Sugar Land baseball team, has also been a popular item, but for reasons related to their favorable reputation.
Advice for protecting yourself against the potential harm of being bitten by a “skeeter,” mosquito proof your property by preventing mosquito breeding areas from developing by frequently replacing water in bird baths and pet water bowls, cleaning out gutters that are retaining water, emptying standing water in flower pots and in outdoor toys among other preventive measures. Attentive responsibility is called for during this peak time to reduce the likelihood of being bitten by a mosquito. This also involves using personal protection when outdoors like insect repellants with DEET and wearing long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn hours, when mosquitoes are most active.
For more information, visit forbendcountyhhs.com or call/email Melanie Manville at 832-473-2444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.