West Nile Virus season wrapping up, still a concern

West Nile Virus season wrapping up, still a concern

AMARILLO, TX - West Nile Virus continues to be a concern in the Panhandle.

This year, 12 counties in the Panhandle region have reported a total of 27 West Nile cases, with 11 in Randall County alone.

With so much rain this season, standing water in the form of puddles, flooded playa lakes, or even just jars or buckets collecting rain water can attract mosquitoes. Mosquito eggs can hatch in as little as one inch of water.

The Department of State Health Services says as long as there are still mosquitoes present, there's still a chance for more people to contract West Nile Virus.

Dr. Roger Smalligan, the Health Authority for the City of Amarillo, says there are five simple steps to keep yourself safe from contracting the virus, and safe from itchy mosquito bites:

1. Dress: long pants and long sleeves will protect your skin from mosquitoes.

2. DEET: look for this ingredient in bug spray to repel mosquitoes

3. Dusk: mosquitoes are more frequent at dusk

4. Dawn: they're also prevalent at dawn

5. Drain: drain any standing water that's collected in flower pots, buckets, or anything containing water that could attract mosquitoes.

West Nile Virus season is winding down, but Flu season is about to be in full force.

Smalligan says the best way to avoid catching this virus is to get a flu shot.