West Nile Virus - Impact & Prevention - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/30/03

West Nile Virus - Impact & Prevention

"This year we've had more human cases," said Lubbock Health Director Tommy Camden, commenting on what may be the fourth case of West Nile Virus and the steps being taken to prevent even more. "We collect thousands and thousands of mosquitoes on a weekly basis," he said. Roughly 35 traps throughout the county, on the lookout for a disease that has a ripple effect.

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"One of the things we added as of July first was a test for West Nile," said Les Long of United Blood Services. Donors are always needed, and the virus is making life-saving efforts even harder. "If there are units of blood being disqualified because of West Nile Virus, then we need donors worse than ever because we already have a tough time keeping up with the 110 pints of blood the local hospitals use every day," he said.

Avoiding getting bitten by a mosquito is nearly impossible, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk.

  • Wearing Off, DEET, or another insect repellant.
  • Watching for areas of standing water, such as kiddie pools or old tires, notorious catch basins for rain. Less water, less mosquitoes, less chance for west Nile.

"Overall we are behind," said NewsChannel 11 Chief Meteorologist John Robison. He's predicting rain. "We're having some scattered showers from the north down to the south and that could mean a chance for standing water," he said. Meaning more West Nile Virus could be on the way.

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