West Nile - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/22/07 - Lufkin

West Nile

by Tashun Chism

For the past several years, West Nile Virus has been a concern across East Texas during the spring and summer.

"So far we have had two cases this year. They were early in the year. Earlier than normal and we have two pending cases that I've drawn in the last two weeks," said Angelina County and Cities Health District Infectious Disease Specialist Stephanie Mason.

But Angelina County and Cities Health District officials say there's no need to panic.

"Compared to the past where we've had 8 or 9 at this time of year, it's actually been down," Mason told us.

Officials say the cases confirmed this year are actually cases of West Nile Fever.

"If they just have the symptoms of the flu-like symptoms of the fever, that's what the states classifies as west Nile fever, because they're not having meningitis or severe complications from it," Mason added.

West Nile Virus is usually contracted from mosquitos.

The state department has guidelines against West Nile called the Four D's:

1.) Dusk and Dawn are when mosquitos are most active.

2.) Dress in long sleeve shirts and pants when you're outside.

3.) Deet is the ingredient to look for in your insect repellent.

4.) Drain or empty containers that might trap standing water where mosquitos breed.

Experts tell us as long as you follow the Four D's, you shouldn't worry about contracting West Nile.

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