Mosquito | KERA News

Mosquito

Gravitywave / flickr.com

Dallas County reports its first human case of West Nile virus this year. A resident of Richardson has West Nile Fever, the less severe form of the mosquito-transmitted illness.

Come summertime, some of us here at Shots are reminded, as we lounge on decks and venture into overgrown gardens, that we are irresistible to mosquitoes. As we gripe about our itchy, pocked limbs, we can't help but wonder just why they unfailingly devour us and pass over our friends and loved ones. And when it comes to repellent, it's hard to tell just what works best.

West Nile virus looked like it was waning as a health threat, with the number of cases dropping each year. Then last summer, it roared back.

The number of people infected with the mosquito-borne illness suddenly spiked in 2012. And Dallas was hit hardest of all.

People showed up in emergency rooms with encephalitis and paralysis, unable to breathe on their own.

Cathy Burkey / Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has thousands of new residents.  Two hives of honeybees moved in last week.  The Zoo is partnering with Texas Honeybee Guild to shore up dwindling bee numbers after a big loss last year.

Andre.abu / flickr

Governor Perry has signed Senate Bill 186, giving health officials another tool to fight West Nile.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Helen Giddings and Sen. John Carona, both of Dallas, gives authorities access to stagnant water on abandoned properties and swimming pools.  

Dallas County health officials say that last year they had numerous complaints about standing water on uninhabited properties that was breeding mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus that can be fatal or cause severe neurological damage.

Gravitywave / flickr.com

The four DFW counties are teaming up to fight West Nile virus this year.

Dynamic Aviation King Air

The North Texas Poison Control Center says its hotline has received very few calls about health problems following aerial spraying for mosquitoes.

Dynamic Aviation King Air

It appears aerial mosquito spraying over Dallas worked. City officials say there were no West Nile infected mosquitoes in a small sample of traps retrieved afterwards. That’s good preliminary news, but Dallas City Council members want better planning for next year’s West Nile virus season.

Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control are in Texas this week trying to figure out why West Nile Virus is so prevalent in the Lone Star State.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Some Dallas County cities are getting ready to launch aerial mosquito spraying, to combat West Nile virus. School districts are also faced with protecting students from the disease-carrying mosquitoes.