West Nile in the Permian Basin

by Mitzi Loera
Newswest 9

Midland - It seems like they're everywhere. You swat at them and somehow they still get you.

"The cases are down here again though we're just starting to see cases, very early for me to say that," said Kathy Parker, Zoonosis Specialist.

It's at the end of August that the Permian Basin begins to see West Nile cases from the pesky pests.

"Usually we'll stop seeing cases mid November," Parker said.

So far the counties reporting cases of the virus are Midland, Ector, and Dawson.

"We have one confirmed case in Midland County, one confirmed case in Ector, and right now there are two other cases being investigated one in Ector, the other in Dawson. Those are human cases of West Nile," Parker said.

Those three counties have also seen cases in livestock.

"We also have seven confirmed cases in horses three in Dawson, two in Ector, and one in Midland," Parker said.

All cases Parker says could have been prevented.

"The thing people need to do is preventative, they need to wear insect repellent, they need to have a can on a table before they go outside, they need to have some in their vehicle," Parker said.

She says there are certain people who are more susceptible than others.

"Oilfield workers, people who work construction people, who work at dusk and dawn hours when these mosquitoes are very hungry, and they are very susceptible to it," Parker said.

The virus can be prevented in animals.

"Get animals vaccinated, there was a big stress when it first happened, animals dying and maybe people are forgetting to do it," said Parker.

Also get rid of the standing water around your home.

"From a cup to ice chest to tires you know holds water and that's where these mosquitoes breed, and breed very well, and if you have it around your setting around your home they don't have to go very far to get a meal," Parker said.

The only way a human can get the virus is by a mosquito bite.