Dallas Says Remember Three Ds To Defend Against West Nile Virus

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West Nile Virus

The recent heavy rains in North Texas have definitely increased the mosquito population, but it has also delayed the start of West Nile season.

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How is this possible? Well, the mosquitos that are currently active and biting are Aedes vexans, or "floodwater mosquito." These particular mosquitos normally do not carry West Nile virus or other mosquitoborne illnesses that can affect humans. In fact, the mosquito that carries the West Nile virus in North Texas prefers stagnant water found during droughts, like the ones we've seen the past two years.

"This sudden explosion of mosquitos is a result of the recent rains which have flooded lowlying areas where Aedes vexans mosquito eggss have laid dormant for two years," said Scott Sawlis, Entomologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS). "And while, these mosquitos do bite and are definetly a pest they do not pose a risk of exposing humans to mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus. In North Texas the culex mosquito or southern house mosquito is the vector for West Nile virus," Sawlis continued.

"Since the average person can't distinguish between the flood water and house mosquitos, we encourage everyone to use the increase mosquito activity as a trial run for West Nile Season and to be on the defense against mosquito bites," said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS Director. DCHHS encourages everyone to remember the three Ds to defend against West Nile

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