mosquitoes | KERA News

mosquitoes

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There are dozens of types of mosquitoes in North Texas -- more than 50, in fact. A mosquito hunter who works with the city of Denton helps explain the differences between the bugs.

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Scientists are thinking up new ways to prevent Zika and west Nile Virus in Texas. Still, some say the older ideas might be better.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Plano will release the fish in a large pond this afternoon; more people are arrested for student loan debt in Houston than any other major city; a Texas Senator fears for the U.S. electric grid; and more.

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This summer, dozens of mosquitos in testing sites across North Texas have turned up positive for West Nile virus. It’s nothing like the record year of 2012 when 89 people died across Texas. So far this year, only two human cases of the virus have been reported in North Texas. But the dry weather that's come after big rains could mean we're in for a long skeeter season.

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Dallas County Health and Human Services has reported a second case of human Chikungunya. 

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State health officials have confirmed the first human case of chikungunya in Texas.

It’s a mosquito-borne illness that can cause very severe joint pain, a rash, and high fever. But it’s rarely fatal.

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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.

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UT Southwestern has developed a formula that it says could revolutionize the way communities fight West Nile.

And even though recent rains have drenched North Texas, researchers don’t expect a sudden dramatic spike in West Nile cases.

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.

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City of Dallas mosquito-spraying trucks will be out in half a dozen neighborhoods tonight and tomorrow night, weather permitting.

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A Fort Worth woman in her 40’s has developed Tarrant County’s first case of West Nile virus this season.   It’s also the first case reported in North Texas.

Tarrant County Public Health says she has the milder form, not the neuroinvasive form that more often leads to long-term illness, paralysis or death.

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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.

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Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus have arrived earlier than ever before in North Texas. Last week, several traps in Richardson had mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus – last year West Nile didn’t appear until May. 

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

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

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Dallas County’s aerial mosquito spraying got a good preliminary report from the Centers for Disease Control, which analyzed more that 250 mosquito traps.

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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.

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Aerial mosquito spraying is over for the city of Dallas, but cities in the southern part of Dallas County are signing up for the air attack on mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

A federal appeals court says Texas can cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood pending a trial over a new law that takes away the money.

Dallas officials say 20 new West Nile virus cases have raised the County total to 262. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the second round of the air assault on mosquitoes launched last night at 9 even though leaders initially said that may not be effective.

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes over Dallas County cities is cancelled for tonight.

At a Saturday afternoon update, County Judge Clay Jenkins said the chance of rain and windy conditions are keeping the planes on the ground until Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights.

Friday night, storms cut short the spraying effort. Only about 30% of the intended area was sprayed. Planes will hit the remaining 70% Sunday night. Monday and Tuesday spraying will be a second application over the entire targeted area.

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.

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Dallas County wants the mayors of cities north of I-30 to decide by late Wednesday if they want aerial spraying for mosquitoes – the carriers of West Nile virus. The fast track for aerial spraying comes as Dallas County announced a tenth West Nile death.

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar

 In a statement released Friday evening Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he supports Dallas County’s plan for aerial spraying to combat West Nile virus, but Rawlings stopped short of saying the City would authorize the spraying.

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Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties recently confirmed their first human cases of West Nile Virus. Dr. Cedric Spak says most people bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile will never know it. But in this KERA Health Checkup, the infectious disease specialist said West Nile is a potentially serious disease of two variations.