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After Record Year, No West Nile Cases in Amarillo

After a record breaking summer for the west nile virus in 2012, 2013 is off to a welcome, slow start. "We currently don't have any cofirmed cases of the west nile virus," Matt Richardson with the Amarillo Department of Public Health said.

After a record breaking summer for the west nile virus in 2012, 2013 is off to a welcome, slow start.

"We currently don't have any cofirmed cases of the west nile virus," Matt Richardson with the Amarillo Department of Public Health said. 

Last year, the state of Texas set records with close to 2,000 cases of the virus and 89 deaths. Potter and Randall coutnies saw 22 human cases of the virus in 2012. In 2011 there were no cases.

"2012 was a really a record number of west nile cases for Potter and Randall counties," Richardson said, "We don't think it will be that high this year, but there's really no way to know. We'll know a lot more after August and September."

August and September are when the state of Texas saw that spike last year, and Richardson says you should still watch out for the west nile virus.

"What we do suspect is with the recent rains, there are more mosquitos. With more mosquitos, means more cases later in the summer," Richardson said.

He recommends practicing the five "D's" - using deet, being mindful of bugs at dusk and dawn, draining standing water, and dressing in clothing that protects you.

Plus, watch out for symtoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

Richardson says, if you experience any of those, visit your doctor right away. If you want to see a county by county breakdown of west nile cases for every year, click here.

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