Reducing the Risk of West Nile Virus After Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas with extensive rain and flooding that damaged many homes and businesses. With residents working to get their lives back on track, there’s a new danger that health officials are warning people about: a potential increase in mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus and Zika Virus. Below is the latest on West Nile Virus in Texas and how officials are working to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses following Hurricane Harvey.
Current Status of West Nile Virus in Texas
West Nile is a strong concern in Texas, with over 100 human cases being reported in 2017 and three deaths as a result of the virus. Texas is the second highest state for West Nile cases this year, following only California. With such a high concern over this particular mosquito-borne illness, officials aren’t taking any chances when it comes to mosquito prevention. In particular, more than seven million acres in Texas have been sprayed to prevent a surge of mosquito populations in areas affected by Harvey. Areas around Houston had an increase in mosquitoes right after the storm; however, spraying aerial and ground spraying reduced these numbers. So far, officials have had positive results as there have not been any additional increases in the number of mosquitoes for areas in Texas that were of particular concern; however, they’re not out of the woods yet. Officials will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks to ensure there is not another spike in mosquito populations.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes
Officials are urging those in areas affected by Harvey to be vigilant in preventing mosquitoes and mosquito bites. While there is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus, the best way to protect yourself and your family from a mosquito-borne illness is to prevent mosquitoes from being drawn to you and the areas around your home. Mosquitoes that spread viruses like West Nile can breed in areas with just small amounts of standing water, for example, in bird baths, clogged gutters or garbage cans and lids. In addition to removing any debris that can cause standing water, here are some additional tips for preventing mosquitoes around your home:
- Trim vegetation and maintain landscaping, as mosquitoes like to hide out in cool and damp places during the day, such as in bushes and overgrown lawns.
- Consider adding mosquito-repelling plants to your garden, such as basil, peppermint, lavender or citronella.
- Fix or replace any broken screens on your home, as mosquitoes can get in through even the tiniest rip or tear.
Prevent Mosquito-Borne Illnesses with NET effect
Keeping mosquitoes out of your yard is helpful, but always remember to use insect repellent when venturing outdoors to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile or the Zika Virus. NET effect is a revolutionary repellent that contains DEET and is safe for the whole family. NET effect comes in a unique and convenient to carry roll-on applicator, so you can apply repellent safely and more efficiently. To order NET effect, visit the Shop page on our website.