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West Nile Cases Confirmed In College Station

By: Jennifer Cavazos
By: Jennifer Cavazos

It's the first confirmed case of west nile virus in Brazos County this year. Usually the virus is detected in late may or early June, but experts say the disease is here to stay.

West Nile has been found for the first time this year in two birds collected in College Station. A blue jay found on Gilchrist street and a crow at Stonewall Court tested positive for the virus.

"The one we consider with disease is bad and still is and with this drought the birds begin to congregate both city and outside the city ones come to town. They begin to nest around the last bits of water where this species is breeding. These are nursuries for anything these birds are carrying and mosquitoes and birds are exchanging," says Dr. Jim Olson, Entomologist with Texas A&M University.

Marshall Wallace is a drainage foreman for the city of College Station.
He says they spray in areas that have problems with west nile or have in the past. They try to treat them several times during the year and these recent rains have left some neighborhoods at risk.

"The drier years are worst. The ponds and pools and stuff aren't being flushed out as frequently as they are when we get a lot of rain. Without getting all the rain you have puddles that stand and mosquitoes love stagnant water-that's where they love to breed," says Wallace.

"Not as much as the virus isn't as active. Its that the people are and are exposing themselves. The winter we have more indoor activities - hence we don't expose ourselves as much to mosquitoes," says Olson.

The Brazos County Health Department is urging residents to take precautions against mosquito bites and report dead bird sightings.

Authorities ask that you continue to use insecticide with DEET, try to avoid being outside at Dawn and Dusk, dress with long sleeved shirts, and drain any standing water.


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