LUBBOCK -- According to the Texas Department of State Health Services Lubbock County is among 20 counties in 2014 with confirmed cases of West Nile Virus.
“We’ve had a total of 49 cases of west Nile illness in Texas,” Chris Van Deusen with the Texas Department of State Health Services said. “And those 49 cases include one death this year.”
West Nile virus is spread from bird to mosquito to humans, and Lubbock County Vector Control is working to eliminate the middle man, by conducting weekly tests.
“We’ve got 24 traps spread out around the city and the county,” Tim Segura, Vector Control Coordinator said. “And once a week I send staff out and they collect all the bugs caught in the traps to bring back to the office. And at the end of the week we take a batch from different parts of the city to Texas Tech University and they do the testing for the west Nile there for us there.”
So far none of the batches have tested positive. “If we do get positive results, I’ll know exactly where they come from, so we will base all our efforts of spraying that night to that part of the city or the county,” Segura said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services advises people in the counties that have reported cases of West Nile, to take necessary precautions.
“Use insect repellent if you are going to be outside, especially around dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes are most active,” Van Deusen said. “It’s also a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants—kind of loose fitting clothing—and most importantly, drain any standing water that’s around your house.”