Half of Nation’s West Nile Cases in Texas – 08-29-2012 : Texas Medical Center article contact: David Cabrera articles for TMC News in Houston, Texas USA TMC NewsPosted: September 4, 2012
Harris County is home to 56 species of mosquitoes. While most are merely pests, the Culex mosquito is the predominant species in Harris County that carries West Nile Virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest West Nile virus update at the time TMC News went to press revealed that 11,018 people in the country have been infected so far, and half of those cases are from Texas. The hot summer, last season’s mild winter, and an ongoing drought have all conspired to increase the mosquito population, the report said. The mild winter followed by an early spring extended the mosquito season and allowed the mosquitoes to repopulate themselves. The ongoing drought is associated with an increase in polluted water because, as water evaporates, pollutants – including West Nile virus – remain. Birds drink the water polluted with the West Nile virus, then mosquitoes feed on the infected birds and ultimately transfer the disease to humans.