West Nile Virus Still a Serious Threat - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

West Nile Virus Still a Serious Threat



    Even though it's cooler outside, mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus are still a concern for cities across North Texas. (Published Monday, Nov. 4, 2013)

    Many of the spray trucks throughout North Texas are being put away for the winter, but the threat from West Nile virus remains.

    "You would expect that the mosquitoes would be at least diminishing in numbers but I think they've almost increased sometimes outside with the rain and everything," said Bridget Kovacevich of Dallas.

    "The mosquitoes are still present, the disease is still present," said Patrick Prather of Municipal Mosquito in Richardson.

    Municipal Mosquito tracks data from 1500 traps spread across 7 North Texas counties, with more traps set this year than ever before.

    "We're testing in the same locations week after week, and that gives us data that we can compare," said Kayleen Thomason with Municipal Mosquito.

    "We've never done this much testing before, so when we see what happens next year, we're going to be able to tell where the patterns lie," said Thomason.

    A growing body of evidence now shows that mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus can survive through the cold winter month, then infect people when they emerge on warm days.

    "Those female mosquitoes overwinter, in a large storm drain or something of that nature where they are protected, front porches, things like that and then as the days warm up, they can come out and bite and still transmit disease," said Prather.

    That makes West Nile a year round threat.

    "Just be aware of what's going on temperature wise, pay attention to what's flying around in the air and protect yourself," said Thomason. "If you see mosquitoes out always protect yourself."

    West Nile Virus:
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