Temple, TX — There were 3,603 cases of West Nile Virus in Texas last year. McLennan County had some of the biggest numbers in Central Texas.
April showers bring May flowers, but spring rain also brings summer’s biggest pest: the mosquito. And with it comes the dreaded West Nile Virus.
The insect thrives in pools of water that can be seen throughout the area after this week’s rain storms.
“I think last year the Dallas area started to see cases in June, but I think it arrived here in Temple a little later," said Karen Brust, Infectious Disease Physician at Scott and White Hospital.
Last year there were four deaths between Bell and McLennan Counties. Like the majority of infections, the most susceptible are children and the elderly.
If you plan on being outdoors all day, sunscreen is a must. A goood habit to have is using insect repellent after each round of sunscreen.
You can also wear long sleeve pants and shirts to be safe. Citronella candles for your back porch aren't that strong but can be effective.
Brust said clearing any standing water is a must to prevent further mosquito population growth.
“For memorial day weekend, I would just say to be aware," said Brust. "To know where we came from last year in terms of West Nile and what we could potentially be up against this year. It’s just about awareness at this point.”