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Head for the Hills -- West Nile Virus Found in Harris County!

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You can commence panicking: The West Nile Virus has been detected in a mosquito trapping site in northeast Harris County (ZIP Code 77346), according to Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services Mosquito Control.

"This is the first confirmed mosquito sample in Harris County this year that has tested positive for West Nile Virus," according to an HCPHES press release.

So does that mean we are now at the mercy of our insect overlords? Possibly. Or we could all just take some simple steps the HCPHES recommends to reduce the risk of contracting the virus from what scientist-types call Culex quinquefasciatus.

That includes using bug repellents "containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535" and removing or emptying containers that collect water, such as "flowerpots, buckets, tires, toys and plastic swimming pools." (Also, don't forget about Fido -- the HCPHES also recommends changing your pet's water bowl at least twice a week).

It's us against them, but, by following all the recommendations, we have a fighting chance. God speed.

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