West Nile Confirmed In Smith and Wood Counties

It's confirmed. TheWest Nile Virus has been discovered in mosquitos in two more East Texas counties.

One group of infected insects was in Wood County just north of Mineola. The sample was taken on County Road 2425 near Lake Brenda.

Another group of mosquitos caught in Whitehouse also tested positive for West Nile. Those mosquitos were discovered on Hagan road in south Whithouse. Shae Stanley lives on Hagan. She says every morning she likes to air out her home. "I just open up all the doors and windows maybe just for 15 minutes just to let some fresh air in. But, after you've told me there's West Nile on this street, that's going to have to change." Shea is not just letting in air, she's bringing in mosquitos possibly infected with West Nile.

Linda Jones also lives in Whitehouse. She says her son has changed the way he plays outside because of fears of West Nile. He no longer argues about putting on insect repellant. "He doesn't say it's a mosquito bite. He says mom, oh mom, it's a West Nile bite. It's a West Nile bite."

The samples taken on July 30th confirm the nuisance insects are spreading the disease. Don Hart is the Assistant Director of Disease Surveillance for the Smith County Public Health District. "It pretty much confirms what we already knew, that West Nile Virus is present in mosquitos in East Texas. We just hadn't trapped the appropriate mosquitos yet."

The Smith County Public Health District wants you to remember the four D's when fighting West Nile. Don't go outside at dawn or dusk because that's when mosquitos are most active, dress in long sleeves and pants, use deet to repell insects and drain off any standing water.

In the last two weeks, city officials in Longview have intensified their spraying efforts after as many as five mosquitoes from their sampling tested positive for the virus.

Stephen Parr, reporting.