News Release

July 23, 2002


Houston Confirms Arboviral Infection in Resident

A 74-year-old Houston resident has been confirmed with an arboviral infection Monday, July 22. At this time it is not known if the man was infected with West Nile virus or the virus which causes St. Louis encephalitis. Further testing is being conducted.

The man began exhibiting symptoms on July 15 and was hospitalized on the 16th. He was released from the hospital on July 21 and is recovering at home. The location of his home in far west Houston prompted physicians to submit specimens for West Nile Virus testing to the Houston Department of Health and Human Services laboratory.

The Harris County Mosquito Control District has conducted spraying operations in west Houston and Harris County since the identification of West Nile virus infected birds last month near the Addicks reservoir.

Area residents are strongly encouraged to continue to prevent mosquito breeding and reduce their potential for mosquito bites.

Prevent mosquito breeding:

Eliminate standing water around the house. Dispose of tires, turn over water holding flower pots, drain bird baths every two days, move air conditioning drain hoses every two days, remove accumulations of leaves and debris.

Prevent mosquito biting:

Ensure that mosquitoes cannot enter the home through screens, doors and floor/wall cracks.

Use flying insect spray if mosquitoes are found inside the house.

When going outside, wear long sleeves and long pants; use mosquito repellants which contain the active ingredient Deet following label instructions.

Area residents are also strongly discouraged from allowing yard waste to enter the storm sewer system. Home owners and commercial landscaping companies frequently blow or rake yard debris into storm sewers which creates an ideal breeding environment for culex mosquitoes, the prime carrier of West Nile virus and the virus which causes St. Louis encephalitis. The preferred method of grass clipping disposal is to edge and string trim first, blowing or raking the clippings into the yard. The clippings can then be mulched into the lawn when mowing.