Borderland residents should take precautions against the West Nile Virus
POSTED: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 9:10am
UPDATED: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 2:45pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — Monsoon is just beginning for the Borderland, which means residents need to be on the look out for the West Nile Virus.
Fernando Gonzalez, lead epidemiologist with the El Paso Department of Public Health, said the heat, rain and humidity are good breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
The El Paso Department of Public Health said there have been more than 100 cases of the West Nile virus here in El Paso during the past 5 years and more than 10 have resulted in death. They said this number is higher than it should be.
"We have a very high case and death rate compared to other parts of the country," Gonzalez said.
But they add, 80 percent of those bitten by an infected mosquito will show no symptoms,19 percent will show mild, flu like symptoms, and only 1 percent will have severe problems.
However, there is an increased mosquito population this season, so residents need to take precautions.
Tom Huntington, an El Paso resident said he uses bug spray or lotion.
Brendan Lombrana, another El Paso resident, said repellent is a part of his daily morning routine, but that it does little to keep the pesky bugs away.
If bug spray isn't doing the trick, health officials say, dress to protect yourself.
"Long sleeves, long pants especially if we are exposed to the environment during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes like to go out and feed," Gonzalez said.
Mosquitoes only need a teaspoon of water to breed, so another tip they add is to drain any standing water inside and outside your home.
To report any large area of standing water, you can call the environmental services department at 915-311.