We've learned more human cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in Houston and Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.
The city of Houston reported four new cases, bringing the total number of cases in Houston to 55. Four people have died in Houston from the virus. Fort Bend Co. announced one new case: a 55- to 74-year-old man from Richmond. And Brazoria County said they now have three confirmed human cases. No deaths have been reported in either county.
Harris County remains at 21 cases with zero deaths.
As for other counties in our area, Waller and Wharton counties have each reported one case with one death. Montgomery County has reported four cases with no deaths. And Liberty County and Galveston County have both had one case with zero deaths.
Overall, more than 80 human cases have been confirmed across the ABC13 viewing area with five deaths -- the four in Houston and one in El Campo.
Federal health officials say this is the nation's worst year for the mosquito-borne virus since it was discovered in New York 13 years ago.
There are more than 1,400 cases of West Nile in the United States. Texas has at least 52 of the country's 118 West Nile related deaths.
Several Texas counties have been spraying pesticide to help reduce the mosquito population.
Mosquito-proof your property
HCPHES continues to encourage residents to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats around their property.
- Remove or empty all outside containers that may hold water such as flowerpots, tires and toys.
- Bird baths and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week.
- Clean out gutters and make sure windows and doors have proper screening.
- Do not "feed" the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs from sidewalks and driveways and dispose of them properly.
Prevent mosquito breeding in boats
- Cover your boat and store it in a covered place.
- Drain any standing water and make sure the bilge pump is working.
- Turn over canoes, kayaks and small boats to store upside down.
Historically, in Harris County, July through September is the peak timeframe for disease transmission to humans. To reduce the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes, practice personal protective measures.
- When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 and apply as directed on the label.
- If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.