East Texans brace for upcoming mosquito season

Updated: Apr. 5, 2017 at 6:14 PM CDT
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With temperatures on the rise and spring bringing with it the recent storms, public health officials are bracing for an influx of mosquitoes.

"We never really had a winter here, so the mosquito never really went away," said Emily Parks, owner of Mosquito Minus.

Experts say the mild temperatures during the winter kept the breeding ground warm for mosquitoes to make a quicker appearance this year, and Parks said spraying yards started as early as end of February.

Public health expert Sharon Shaw explained protection requires prevention, especially when faced with the Zika virus.

"These are not mosquitoes that when you're out at the lake you need to worry about. These are mosquitoes that live with human beings," Shaw said.

Last year saw a rise in the mosquito-borne Zika virus cases. However, this year, the health expert said is only going to multiply the individuals exposed to Zika. Along with that, also comes improved testing for early detecting.

"New tests, brand new technology. We've never had to test for Zika, it wasn't something that was relevant to our technology," Shaw said.

With that technology, when someone finds out within a matter of days to a week, it can reduce the transmission of the disease.

Experts want the public to know to remove any standing water, to wear pants and full sleeve shirts when outside, and apply EPA-approved insect-repellent.

Click here for a full list of insect repellent ratings.

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