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As you may have heard West Nile Virus (WNV) has settled into the West Texas landscape. Lubbock County has the highest human WNV case rate per capita in Texas based on Texas Department of Health WNV statistics.

This viral illness is foremost a disease of birds and secondarily mammals, but humans can become accidental hosts and, if infected, a few may suffer serious to fatal consequences. Despite the media excitement about this disease, it must be remembered that humans are fairly resistant to this virus, and infected humans rarely become sick enough to show any symptoms. To date, about 1 person in every 150 tested has developed severe symptoms of infection.

WNV is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes, and does not spread from person to person. However, it may be transmitted by accidental wound contamination from body fluids from infected birds, and less likely, mammals. Therefore, the most effective control plan will strike at the weakest link in the chain of transmission, the insect vector.
 
Click on the links below to go to a particular topic.

    West Nile Virus resources
    TTU Resources
    Recommendations

 
West nile Virus resources
Visit the following links for more information.

 Texas Department of Health guidelines.
 CDC guidelines.

 
TTU Resources
 TTU Environmental Health and Safety - contact 742-3876 to request spraying for mosquitoes.
 TTU Student Affairs (goto What's New?).
 TTU Student Health Services.
 International Travel Advisories from U. S. Department of State - The Bureau of Consular Affairs.
 Expertise/Consultation contact:
    STEVEN M. PRESLEY, Ph.D., BCE
    Research Coordinator, ADM Zumwalt National Program
    Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Toxicology
    The Institute of Environmental & Human Health
    Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
    v: 806.885.0236 fax: 806.885.2132
    Web Site: www.tiehh.ttu.edu
    E-Mail: steve.presley@tiehh.ttu.edu
 
Recommendations
Protecting against WNV for most people consists of preventing mosquito bites. This can be done in two ways:
     Protecting oneself
     Reducing the number of mosquitoes

Protect Yourself
     Make sure windows and doors are "bug tight." Repair or replace damaged screens, and don't prop windows and doors open. This is of particular importance         in student housing units that are not air conditioned.
     Use insect repellent containing up to 35% DEET when going outside. Read and follow label instructions. Take special care when using repellent on children.
     Avoid mosquito-infested places or wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants, hat, and repellent when going into areas like woods or wetlands.
     Stay indoors around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most actively feeding.

Protect your neighborhood by eliminating standing water:
     Empty anything outdoors that holds water, e.g., tires, flower pots, planters, buckets, plastic or metal covers, toys, and wading pools.
     Change water in birdbaths, fountains, wading pools, animal troughs, etc. at least once a week.
     Recycle containers that can hold water, like cans, bottles, and buckets.
     Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in spring and autumn or whenever they need it.
     Fix leaky outdoor faucets and sprinklers.
     Discuss this issue with neighbors, and encourage them to remove breeding sources on their property.

For additional Information contact Tim Riojas (742-3876)
 
 
   
Environmental Health and Safety | 2903 4TH Street Rm 122 | Lubbock | Texas 79409-1090
Phone: 806.742.3876 | Fax: 806.742.3895 |
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