Getting the word out on West Nile

Marina Gracia is on high alert for West Nile Virus

Marina Gracia lives on Galaxia Street in Brownsville, the area where a mosquito was found to be carrying the West Nile Virus.

Gracia said mosquitoes aren't usually so bad in the area, but knowing that it just takes one bite for a mosquito to transmit the virus to humans, put her on high alert.

"Of course it concerns me especially because of the kids, Gracia said. I TMm old already, but the kids are young and just starting out, so it's scary to think the virus is around."

Mosquitoes get the virus from birds, most commonly blue jays and crows, according to State Health Department Area Director Dr. Brian Smith.

Dove season kicks off the first weekend in September, and Smith urges outdoorsmen should be extra careful.

"There is no West Nile (Virus) vaccine for people, Smith said, So take your repellant with you. It's flying off the shelves in Dallas so buy your mosquito repellant here."

Smith said only about one out of 150 cases of people who get infected with West Nile will show serious symptoms, but when the symptoms strike there's no stopping the virus.

"It starts with fever, (then) neurological disease, collapse and death," he said.

Brownsville city crews started notifying residents in the Galaxia subdivision Thursday evening and continued Friday.

They're asking residents to clean up their yards and get rid of standing water.

Dr. Smith said that TMs what poses the biggest threat for disease, providing an ideal breeding ground for the potentially deadly mosquitoes.

"The mosquitoes that we worry about that cause human disease breed in small quantities of water, and once it gets hot, stale and a little bit stinky, that's where the mosquitoes like to breed.