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West Nile virus found in Ennis mosquito

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ERIC CORNELISON
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ENNIS - The director of health services in Ennis, Crystal Davis, has confirmed the West Nile virus was found in one of the mosquitoes sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

'We randomly capture mosquitoes in the community and send them off for testing to the state health department,' said Davis.

'One of those mosquitoes was found to have the virus, but no humans had contracted the virus.'

Six other counties have been found to have mosquitoes with the virus and according to Davis the virus was close to the county when it was reported Tarrant and Dallas tested positive for the virus, but this even brings it closer.

'I want to be sure the community knows the problem comes from standing water,' said Davis.

'Community members have to ensure they wear repellants since we now know the virus is here.'

Davis also wants the community to take precautions such as draining any standing water from bird baths, boats, or cups.

Birds are the actual carriers of the West Nile virus, but mosquitoes are the transporters of the virus when they have bitten the bird which carries the virus.

Davis said there are over 80 species of mosquitoes in Texas and some travel two blocks while others can travel as far as forty miles.

Mosquitoes can lay eggs which will lie dormant for as long as three to four years before the hatch.

Emptying one cup of water can kill thousands of eggs said Davis.

'There less than a one percent chance of getting the virus,' said Davis.

'It does happen and people have to be careful.'

According to Davis, the citizens have to take some responsibility in order to prevent the virus from being contracted to humans.

The city has been spraying since June, but this still does not kill every mosquito out there.

'It does matter what time of day it is, whether it is in the morning or evening, because this can narrow down what species of mosquito it is,' said Davis.

'Only one species has been confirmed to have the virus at this time, but every fact can help us out.'

Information about the West Nile virus can be found through the Department of Health Services hotline, 888-883-9997, or you can visit their website at www.dshs.state.tx.us.

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