Experts: West Nile virus may make a comeback in East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Experts: West Nile virus may make a comeback in East Texas

The recently released West Nile case count from 2012 has many people wondering if we'll have incidences of the disease this year, as well.

Health officials say we will. The mosquitoes are running a little late this year, but they'll be back.

Local health districts aren't just sitting around waiting for the biting insects to show up; they are being proactive.

The report was a long time coming, but it's finally here. It shows Gregg County had the highest number of 2012 West Nile cases in East Texas with 30, including one death; Smith County followed with 22 and no deaths.

The cooler weather has postponed the arrival of those pesky biting pests, but be assured, they are coming.

Bob Gardner with the North East Texas Health District said, "West Nile season is not here yet. In a precautionary manner for mosquitoes, a couple things: we're already out treating creeks and streams. The public needs to be aware of their own surroundings. They need to check standing pools standing puddles of water. When the contents of a cap that fits on a bottle of water can cook up a hundred mosquitoes, we need to be concerned in our own backyards, specifically about standing water."

Gardner says a mosquito only travels 150 yards during its lifetime, so if you have them they may be coming from your yard.

In Longview they are also treating for mosquito larvae. Buck Farrar with the City Of Longview Environmental Health says most cases of West Nile come from a certain type of mosquito.

"The Culex typically bites after hours. The mosquito they say is dusk till dawn. That's the danger zone, when you don't want to out because that's when you have a higher probability of getting bit by one of those types of mosquitoes," Farrar said.

Health officials say get ready and use common sense. Drain standing water, and if you go out after dark, dress in long sleeves or use bug spray.  It's also a good idea to cut back dense foliage. 

Health officials say they will be ready to spray when the time comes, but preventing the insects is the best way to decrease West Nile cases.

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