Aerial Mosquito Spraying Scheduled in Montgomery County
Aerial Spraying is scheduled to begin the evening of Saturday August 23 and continue through Saturday August 30, 2014.
Health Alert – West Nile Virus
Three additional West Nile cases have been confirmed by health officials in Montgomery County, bringing the total number of cases to 13.
In the most recent three cases, patients are described as a woman in her 50s living in the center of the county; a man in his 60s living in South County; and a female teenager who also lives in South County.
Montgomery County Commissioners approved aerial spraying for mosquitoes Tuesday after 10 human cases of West Nile virus had been confirmed in the county which included one death with West Nile being one of the contributing factors. Aerial spraying is scheduled to begin today and continue through August 30.
The Aerial spraying will take place over the course of several nights beginning around 8:30 p.m. through midnight. Precinct 3 and portions of Precinct 2 and Precinct 4 will be covered.
In 2013 Montgomery County had three confirmed West Nile virus cases with the first case confirmed in August. In 2012, 17 West Nile cases were confirmed in the county. Anybody contracting the disease will usually experience flu-like symptoms about five to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle weakness, fatigue and nausea, which in severe cases can progress to seizures, paralysis and even death. Those with weakened immune systems or who are either very young or over the age of 50 are the most at risk.
West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the West Nile virus is spread through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes get the virus from birds and then pass it on to other birds, animals and people. There have been no concerns related to dead birds and no birds have tested positive for West Nile in Montgomery County.
Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms. However, some infections can result in serious illness or death. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are two forms of the illness, West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) and West Nile fever (WN fever).
The symptoms of severe infection from West Nile neuroinvasive disease include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. West Nile fever is the milder form of the illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. DSHS reported 183 human cases of West Nile in Texas last year and 14 deaths.
The Montgomery County Public Health District suggests that anyone who shows similar symptoms should see their healthcare provider right away.
“Prevention is a key component,” said Dr. Syed Ibrahim, chief epidemiologist at the Montgomery County Public Health District. “Residents need to wear protective clothing when outdoors, and make their home unattractive to mosquitoes by emptying containers that may collect rainwater and sprinkler water,” Ibrahim said.
Experts believe that the West Nile Virus is a seasonal epidemic of the summer months, just like influenza is to winter. However, West Nile virus can be transmitted year-round whenever mosquitoes are biting, which is why it is best to protect yourself all year.
For more information about West Nile Virus and a West Nile fact sheet, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services Website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile/.
The Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas. MCHD was established through special legislation in 1977 to provide healthcare to the indigent residents of Montgomery County. In addition to its legislation charge to provide indigent care through its Health Care Assistance Program (HCAP), MCHD operates the county’s ambulance service, serves as the county’s Public Health Department and offers a variety of community and professional education programs.
The MCHD Board of Directors is made up of seven elected members, three at-large and the remaining four are elected from different commissioner’s precincts of which they are a resident. Each member serves a four-year term.
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