Residents on High Alert for West Nile Virus

Residents on High Alert for West Nile Virus

Caitlin Williams
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It's an early start for West Nile season. The first human case was found near Houston. With the recent rains West Texas has seen, there are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Stagnant water attracts the fly, which has residents on high alert.

"It's a concern," said resident Gary Luther. "I read about it and hear it on the Internet. Everyone needs to keep protected."

Graham pharmacist, Julio Castillo, says only one in five people who are bit by a mosquito that carries the virus will experience symptoms.

"Some of the symptoms people might develop from getting the West Nile virus are really high fever, lethargy, or being really tired, diarrhea, headaches," Castillo explained.

There are precautions to take to protect yourself. Just remember the five D's: Deet, Dress, Drain, Dusk and Dawn.

"The main one is deet. It's readily available in commercially developed products like Off, Repel or Cutter," said Castillo. "Wear as much clothing as possible to reduce the exposure and avoid the time of the day that the mosquitoes are out which is from like dusk till dawn.

Experts also suggest draining any stagnant water in your yard. Expect the mosquitoes to stick around the summer months. You may even come up with your own method to protect yourself.

"If there are a lot out, you can just slap them off," said resident Dylan Harwell. "Or buy some spray from the store, spray it on and just do your best."