Brazos County Health Department to address 2013 mosquito season
BRAZOS COUNTY, Tx (KYLE) — Mosquito season isn't something you typically have to worry about until May but after a record-setting West Nile Virus outbreak last year and an extremely mild winter, officials say the 2013 West Nile Season could be just as bad.
Former Bryan police officer, Donnie Manry, knows all too well just how deadly West Nile can be.
In 2006, he contracted the virus while out in his backyard and it nearly killed him.
"In the beginning they didn't know if I was going to make it," Manry said. "Then they told me I was never going to walk again but I'm very blessed because not everyone is."
According to the CDC, last year there were a total of 5,387 confirmed human cases resulting in 243 deaths.
And even though the official start of mosquito season isn't for another couple of months, Manry says now is the time for officials to start talking about it.
"I think it's critical so that people will remember even though it's a beautiful spring day out, it can also be a deadly time of year."
And that's exactly what the Brazos County Health Department plans to do. On Friday, they're holding the 2013 West Nile Virus coordination meeting.
"It's important to start thinking about West Nile Virus and thinking and planning now prior to getting our first calls about mosquito complaints," said BCHD environmental health specialist, Mark Johnsen.
Johnsen says it's a way for the county and city officials to get a head start on their strategy for combating mosquitoes because this season could be just as bad as last.
"It's getting warmer, we didn't have a cold winter and we've had a lot of rain already this year so this is the time of year when the mosquitoes start to wake up so it's definitely a possibility."
And while Johnsen says you can't completely predict Mother Nature, it's better to be prepared now and and have preventative measures in place just in case.