West Nile Virus mosquitos identified in DFW metroplex

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With all the recent rain we’ve had, the mosquitos are multiplying like crazy. Did you know the female mosquito that bites you could get enough blood protein in that meal to produce up to 300 eggs which could hatch in a couple of days?

Another fact: male mosquitos generally live about a week, but a female can keep biting and producing eggs for more than a month. The CDC calls the mosquito “the world’s dangerous animal” because it carries so many diseases that threaten millions of lives worldwide every year.

Now for the good news... at least for now.

Katherine Wells, director of the Lubbock Health Department says, “Right now, we are seeing our nuisance mosquitos. There are about 30 to 40 varieties of mosquitos and not all of them carry disease.” Mosquitos carry malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever and zika, none of which is an issue in Texas this year.

However, she says there is always the concern that mosquitos could bring West Nile to the South Plains. Most people can shake off West Nile as if it were a common cold. The risk is that some people react to West Nile Virus with debilitating, neurological problems. Katherine says, “We’re starting our surveillance process to look for West Nile in our mosquito population.” So far, West Nile is not showing up in Lubbock or anywhere on the South Plains. However, if your summer travel takes you to the metroplex, you should know that West Nile has been identified in mosquitos there. She says, “We’ve seen Williamson County, Dallas, Tarrant County, Fort Worth all test with positive pools and that usually happens first and Lubbock is usually a couple of weeks later.”

That would mean we might see West Nile Virus in the Lubbock area by the end of this month. Check out the video on this page to learn more about what you can do to protect against West Nile.

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