CDC: Expert Says Largest West Nile Outbreak in History - ABC 40 KRHD-TV - Bryan/College Station News and Weather |

CDC: Expert Says Largest West Nile Outbreak in History

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By Adam Hammons

BRAZOS COUNTY-  The Centers for Disease Control is reporting four times the normal number of west Nile virus cases this year with one expert calling it one of the largest outbreaks in our history.

The CDC says almost half of all west Nile illnesses in the US have been in Texas.  A large part of those have been in the Dallas area.  While Brazos County mosquitos do have the virus, there have been only three human cases compared to 200 in Dallas County. 

"They're in an emergency state right now," Mark Johnsen said who works with the Brazos County Health Department.  "And basically we're in a normal mosquito season."

ABC40 went along with Johnsen as he set a mosquito trap at a neighborhood home.  The owner called in because they found a dead bird in the driveway. 

"It's good that they're checking it out," single father Matt Brown said.  "I know the West Nile has been pretty prominent showing up a lot lately and with my kids playing outside a lot, I think it's good that they're going to test here."

Homeowners can ask for a trap set in their area by calling the Health Department.  However, there have already been traps set all around the county, and the Health Department won't set a trap if the area has already been covered. 

While Johnsen says this has been a normal season so far, there's still more time to go.  He says the mosquitos and the virus are still out there. 

"Of course we're talking about the middle of the season still," Johnsen said.  "So we still have maybe a month, a month and a half to go of possible disease transmission in Texas."