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New Report Indicates Another Bad West Nile Season

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) J.D. Miles
J.D. is an award-winning reporter who has been covering North T...
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A new report shows a large spike over the past few weeks in the type of mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile Virus.

CBS 11 obtained a copy of the report, which indicates this summer could be another bad one for the disease.

Health officials have trapped 17-thousand mosquitoes so far this year in Dallas County. Environmental health officials are not as troubled by that total as they are concerned about the number of southern house mosquitoes that have been captured. That is the breed most likely to carry West Nile Virus.

On May 11, 3,346 southern house mosquitoes were collected. On May 18, 3,213 were collected and on May 25, 4,618 were trapped. On average, eight more southern house mosquitoes were collected per trap in May 2013 compared to May 2012 – up to 31 this year from 23 last year. It means more potential for mosquitoes carrying the virus.

Elizabeth Young, who is still recovering in her North Dallas home nearly a year after she and her mother contracted the disease, says the findings in this new report scare her.

“I get worried about everybody.”

The 53-year-old artist says the virus took part of her memory and her ability to paint.

“I was painting full time up until then,” she says. It’s just taken forever to get back in my routine.”

Some doctors, like Alfred Johnson, are already starting to look for patients with symptoms of the potentially deadly virus.

“Early detection is important,” says Dr. Johnson. “Occasionally we get fooled and they don’t find it until a person comes down with West Nile Virus that has an unexplained fever joint pains and aches.”

One environmental health official says he thinks Dallas County should begin spraying now and not wait until the summer sees its first positive test.

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