Fewer Cases of West Nile in Missouri

1 decade 9 months 5 days ago July 23, 2006 Jul 23, 2006 Sunday, July 23 2006 Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:21:35 PM CDT in News
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Eddie Hedrick from the Missouri Department of Health knows where mosquitoes breed, and where there are mosquitoes, there can also be West Nile.

But health and environmental officals agree; so far, this has been a good year.

"We've been, I'll say, lucky so far," said Jim Hull from Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Hedrick said West Nile is on the decline in Missouri. According to the U.S. Geological survey, in 2003 and 2004, there were seven confirmed bird cases in Boone County, in 2005, that number fell to three, and so far this year there has only been one case in the county. One reason for the decline could be fewer places for these critters to breed.

"We've cleaned up over 13 million tires in the state so far, since the inception of the program," said Hull

He said each one of those 13 million tires could give mosquitos the chance to lay one million eggs. But cleaning up tires doesn't mean the virus will dissapear.

"This is a virus that will stick around with us for a while," said Hedrick.

He said that while West Nile is here to stay, it's the efforts people are making to keep it under control that will continue to decrease the threat. He added that other factors, such as climate change, could also be a factor in West Nile's decline, but it's still important for people to use bug spray and to dump out standing water.

Missouri has not seen a human case of the virus this year, last year, 30 Missourians caught it.

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