By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Dallas will be doing mosquito control spraying again Thursday evening in several communities. This comes as Dallas County health officials say West Nile virus continues to be a real issue in communities.

Patsy Oliver always comes to the park prepared.

“I have insect repellent,” she said. “Repel 100. Protects 10 hours! You don’t want to get sick, a lot of that going on anyways, so why not protect yourself?”

West Nile virus season officially runs from May 1 though Oct. 31 and so far this year, Dallas County has reported four deaths, an additional nine human cases, 379 positive mosquito traps and 390 positive mosquito pools.

“We are seeing some indication that the numbers are going down, but we did just have our third and fourth death, our eighth and ninth cases reported so people still need to protect themselves,”Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang said. “Each season varies, this season is worse than last year.”

Last year, the county had zero deaths, one human case, 35 positive mosquito traps and 35 positive mosquito pools during the entire West Nile virus season.

“It’s always sort of a complicated mix of factors when you have bad seasons vs. when you don’t and it’s hard to predict, but again the universal protection is to prevent yourself from getting mosquito bites,” Huang said.

Health experts say on top of using insect repellent with DEET and wearing long, loose clothing make sure to pour out any standing water on your property. Be sure to check places like rain gutters and any sunken areas in your property. Also, avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

Health experts say most people who contract West Nile virus won’t show symptoms. About one in five will develop a fever. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

Dallas County residents can report mosquito problems and standing water by calling 311.

Erin Jones

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