Stepping Up to Stamp Out the West Nile Virus - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/21/02

Stepping Up to Stamp Out the West Nile Virus

Confirmed West Nile cases in Lubbock County, have city officials increasing their mosquito patrol. NewsChannel 11 first told you about two horses in Lubbock County that contracted the disease. One was put to sleep and the other is recovering. We have learned about several more horses infected with West Nile in counties across West Texas. One in Potter, two in Castro, two in Armstrong, one in Childress, one in Sherman, and one in Gray.

They're called Vector Inspectors, and every year they spray for mosquitoes across the county and in Lubbock neighborhoods, but this year, they're spraying more than ever, their mission? To reduce the threat of West Nile in Lubbock.

The City of Lubbock is spraying for mosquitoes to keep you safer. We found them at Mackenzie Park spraying near the golf course, the park and the creeks. It's not the first time Vector Control has sprayed this area this year. "We've been having more mosquito complaints because of the West Nile I guess people are just scared, we have been spraying more complaints early in the morning," said Joe Vargas, the City Vector Inspector.

Even though the number of mosquitos has not increased this year in Lubbock, West Nile has made people like Paul Rosales more alert of the pest. He often spends lunch breaks in the park with his kids. "I noticed they were spraying and it makes me feel a lot better. I am concerned because it causes death you know I've heard about how many have died like five or so, so it does concern me," Paul Rosales said.

Golfers at Meadowbrook also say they're well aware of the threat. "Its on the news everyday, so I'm pretty well informed about it and I noticed that their testing some vaccines or treatments for it at this time and I hope some of those will be successful," Leck Heflin, a Meadowbrook Golfer.

There is no human vaccine but you can help to protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants when your outside and using a mosquito repellent. Also remember to get rid of or avoid any standing or stagnate water.

So now (as of 8.21.02) the number of infected horses in our area stands at 22. Two horses in Swisher county, two in Briscoe, three in Deaf Smith, four in Floyd county, one in Roberts, one in Potter, two in Castro, two in Armstrong, one in Childress county, one in Sherman, one in Gray and the two in Lubbock county. The state health department says, of these horses, most of them are recovering.

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