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Mosquito season is back – Prevent the bite day and night!

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Harris County officials present efforts in place to detect mosquitoes that carry disease

HOUSTON (May 22, 2017) – It’s mosquito season again and our warm weather and humidity are an ideal mosquito-breeding ground. Out of the 56 species of mosquitoes found in our area, only a handful transmit disease. Harris County officials encourage residents to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from mosquito diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika.

Today, Monday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett along with Dr. Umair A. Shah, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) Executive Director, and Dr. Mustapha Debboun, HCPH Mosquito & Vector Control Division (MVCD) Director, will explain procedures and technology used to track mosquitoes that could carry Zika or other known mosquito-borne diseases in our area. Media is invited to attend the news conference at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management – TranStar located at 6922 Old Katy Rd, Houston, TX 77024.
To date, one mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile Virus. Those areas have been sprayed to reduce the risk of disease. Although 83 cases of Zika have been reported in our area, none were transmitted locally. Currently, Harris County Public Health MVCD has not detected the presence of Zika, Dengue or Chikungunya in the local mosquito population. MVCD divides the county into 268 operational areas, including the City of Houston, and places over 500 mosquito traps throughout these areas to collect mosquitoes for testing.

“Our mosquito and vector control program has been protecting Houston/Harris County residents from mosquito-borne illnesses for more than 50 years, combining science and technology to fight disease carrying mosquitoes. However, we cannot do it alone. We need the help of our residents because fighting mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, has to be a collaborative effort.” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health.
As we move into the summer months, enjoy the outdoors but remember to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne disease. Your best defense against being bitten is simply to be prepared. “Prevent the Bite Day and Night.”

– Personal Protection –

• When outdoors, use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone. Follow product instructions
• If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

– Mosquito-Proof Your Property –

• Remove/empty containers that can hold water such as tires, flowerpots and toys.
• Change water in birdbaths and pet water bowls every 3 to 5 days.
• Keep rain gutters free of debris such as leaves.
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use air conditioning, if possible.

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