Health workers address West Nile case -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Health workers address West Nile case

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More mosquito spraying is being planned in an East Texas neighborhood to combat West Nile.

This week, Longview Health Department officials say they were notified that a resident in the 300 block of Erskine Drive had contracted West Nile fever. Neighbors along Erskine drive were understandably nervous about a West Nile case on their street.

"It really worries me. It scares you really," says neighbor Helen Stewart.   

Health department officials say the timing of this case does not make sense. Workers have trapped the carrier, the Culex mosquito, since the spring.

"The trapping we do is exclusively for the Culex mosquito. I thought the risk was paramount two months ago because the numbers were unbelievable, but there was no disease, here or in Dallas. Now we've dropped lower and we have our first case. Impossible to access. Last year we had very low numbers in the traps, and you saw we had 28 cases," says Longview Environmental Health Department Supervisor Buck Farrar. 

Environmental health workers have been canvassing the neighborhood with flyers, instructing residents how to protect themselves from West Nile mosquitoes. Using Deet, wearing long sleeves, and dumping standing water, including pet water and birdbaths are all ways to battle the mosquito population.

Though the numbers are down , the risk still remains. They'll spray the area for three consecutive nights.

"We also have increased our spot spraying; instead of on Thursday, we're now spraying on Tuesday, as well," Farrar says.

Officials tell us the Culex mosquito is a night biter, and is most active from dusk until dawn.

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