According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas is suffering from the West Nile Virus the most, which is carried by mosquitoes and appears to be spreading faster than it has in years.
Health officials say states are reporting more cases than usual in the state of Indiana and the number of cases nationwide has just about doubled since last week. While the outbreak is expected to get worse, experts say most people never realize they have the virus symptoms.
“It’s very concerning,” John Carpenter said. “I wasn’t aware of it.”
That is what is concerning to Dallas County Health Department Director Zachary Thompson.
The department launched its West Nile Watch where you can track West Nile activity where you live.
“It’s not a scare tactic,” Thompson said. “It’s a public health concern.”
In 2006 Dallas County had 100 confirmed human cases.
Dallas County health officials said fighting West Nile is a community wide effort. if you clear standing water from your home and your neighbor doesn’t you haven’t really accomplished much.
“You’ve got to fight the bite,” Thompson said. “Mosquito proofing yourself will do that.”
City code enforcers are looking for standing water at vacant and foreclosed homes while health officials urge people to wear mosquito repellant with DEET and wear clothing with long sleeves.
As for the Carpenter family, the confirmed human case in their zip code hits home. Next trip to the lake John said he’ll make sure the wife and kids are mosquito proof.
“I won’t be so negligent next time.”