DALLAS, TX —Kids growing up in Texas know what fumigation looks, sounds and smells like.
Trucks creep slowly down the street, slowly spreading a fog of noxious fumes. We were told that we were safe, but a boy who suffered from asthma two streets over got put in the hospital one year. Spraying isn’t that much different.
It’s not for the feint of heart. Last year, two dozen people were killed by the virus, and there were 122 cases reported in Texas.
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And now, Dallas County health officials have verified this year’s first local human case of West Nile virus.
As we’ve all come to know, infected mosquitoes transmit the virus, and the city keeps testing and continues to come up with positive results — and not the good kind of positive.
While many individuals who are bitten never show signs of illness, close to 20 percent do present such symptoms as fatigue, nausea, fever, headache and muscle and joint aches.
The precautions are simple:
You can make it harder on mosquitoes by reducing your outdoor activity during the evening and nighttime hours. And people who are outside during these times should cover their arms and legs and use a mosquito repellent.
Beyond that, you can eliminate standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of West Nile virus. Breeding places for mosquitoes include swimming pools that are not kept clean, stagnant ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters and French drains.
And vigilance is recommended, as it takes no time for mosquitoes to multiply. They can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.
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