First 4 cases of West Nile in Smith County confirmed
Health officials confirmed four human cases of West Nile virus in Smith County on Monday -- the first human cases of the year for the county.
These four bring the total to 14 confirmed cases of the West Nile virus in the seven-county area served by the Northeast Texas Public Health District, said George Roberts, chief executive officer of the Northeast Public Health District.
The seven counties served by the area are: Gregg, Smith, Van Zandt, Henderson, Wood, Rains and Anderson.
Local officials also confirmed Thursday that a horse from the Flint-Gresham area tested positive for the virus and exhibited signs of the virus.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services website, there are 552 confirmed cases of West Nile illness reported statewide so far this year, including 21 related deaths. Most of those cases are from Dallas County.
"We're continuing to monitor the situation, and we encourage everyone to monitor the drainage around their home because mosquitoes breed in standing water," Roberts said.
He added that the period from dusk to dawn is the most active for mosquitoes, so if someone is outdoors during that time, he or she should use insect repellant that contains DEET and wear long-sleeved clothing and pants.
Roberts said a press conference is planned today to give more information to the public about the West Nile virus.
The Texas Department of State Health Services continues to work with Dallas County and other cities to determine the areas to be covered each night by the four available planes spraying for mosquitoes, according to a Friday press release on the department's website.
The next flights will focus on the unsprayed portion of the county north of Interstate 30, including Dallas County cities that cross into Collin County.WEST NILE VIRUS
Van Zandt County:
Numbers represent human cases only.
Wood, Rains and Anderson counties have no reported cases.
Source: Northeast Texas Public Health District