No tests done here for West Nile virus
The city handles its own mosquito spraying through the Public Works department. Crockett Moreno, head of that department, said, "We're spraying nearly every night now."
Because of the prevailing winds and other factors, Moreno's crews start at the south end of town early in the evening and work their way north.
"That way, we get to the downtown area after most of the places are closed and people have gone home," Moreno said.
For other health matters, such as health inspections, the city relies on a contract with Nueces County.
But Noyes Hernandez, with the Nueces County Engineer's office, said the county has no plans to check for the presence of the virus in Port Aransas.
Six cases have been reported so far this year in Corpus Christi; five of the victims have recovered, and the sixth is on the way to recovery, said Eric Cuevas of the Corpus Christi health department.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 15, West Nile virus had been found in counties around Houston, Beaumont, College Station, Austin, Waco, Abilene, Tyler and Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the Texas Department of Health. Two people have died from the disease, the department said.
Cuevas blamed this year's higher outbreak of West Nile on the relatively dry winter and spring we've had.
"When we get plenty of rain in the winter and spring, birds have water through the summer," he said. "That puts less stress on them, and the virus doesn't replicate."
It's when birds carrying the virus are bitten by mosquitoes that then bite a human that the disease spreads in this area.
West Nile virus infections usually are mild with flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, sore throat, body aches and fatigue, occasionally with skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms of more severe West Nile infections - encephalitis and meningitis - include headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, coma and paralysis. If you have these symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says it's as important for individuals to keep the mosquito population down as it is for communities to spray. The agency recommends: + Do not allow water to accumulate
in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns, or in pet dishes for more than 2 days.
+ Get rid of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water.
+ Clean debris from rain gutters, remove standing water from flat roofs, and repair leaks around faucets and air conditioners.
+ Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week.
+ Fill or drain puddles, ditches and swampy areas.
+ Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats or pools, and arrange the tarp to drain the water.
+If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for a week or longer, report this problem to a mosquito control district or public health office.