Most folks don’t realize that West Nile Virus can infect birds, horses, and other mammals as well as humans. Authorities often ask people to report areas where dead birds have been found because that usually indicates that conditions nearby are favorable for mosquito populations to grow. The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to get rid of any stagnant water near your home, avoid going outside at night, and to wear mosquito repellent containing DEET. The Center for Disease Control recommends 30-50% DEET to prevent the spread of pathogens carried by insects. This is especially important for those of us over the age of 50, children, or those with compromised immune systems.
As of August of 2012, mosquitoes in Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Groves have tested positive for West Nile Virus. In Texas there have been 450 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus, of which, 17 have been fatal. Authorities throughout the state have increased spraying by truck and by plane.