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West Nile Virus Changing Behaviors

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT
    Cases of the West Nile virus are rising every day across Texas, including here in Austin. The number of West Nile cases in Travis County went up to 18 on Tuesday.

    In Dallas, where the problem is much more severe, the first aerial spraying of mosquitoes since the 1960's is scheduled for Thursday.

    No other state comes close to Texas in their numbers of West Nile cases this summer. Many Central Texans said they’re stepping up their defenses.

    “The mosquitoes are terrible,” said Melissa Atterberry, a mother of two and fourth grade Science teacher. “Any kind of virus is scary to us so we're taking extra measures.”

    Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in 20 local zip codes. And they're buzzing in record numbers. Atterberry said it's the first year she has used insect repellents with DEET on her daughters.

    “If I had to make a decision between West Nile or the DEET, I’ll go with the DEET,” Atterberry said.

    Martin Feemster, the manager at Breed and Company said Atterberry is not alone. He told us, by the middle of the week, his store was running out of nearly anything mosquito repellent related. About a month ago, Feemster started doubling the orders on most of those products.

    Health and Human Services decides if Austin and Travis County will use any aerial or truck sprays. Officials there told us Austin is not even close to the emergency near Dallas. They added they have not sprayed in the city for more than ten years.
West Nile Virus Changing Behaviors

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