West Nile Prevention Money Cut

1 decade 1 year 4 months ago Wednesday, June 13 2007 Jun 13, 2007 Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:00:40 PM CDT June 13, 2007 in News

However, the cut may not take as big of a bite out of prevention as it appears.

When it heats up people head out to enjoy nature, but something can ruin a fun day- mosquitos that can potentially spread West Nile.

A federal budget cut for the Center of Disease Control changes how to detect and track the virus.

"We had to cut back on some of what we call ecological surveillance that we do, which is not so much looking for human disease, but looking for indicators of West Nile activity in the environment. And that is, people know about this, the dead bird testing and the mosquito testing," said Karen Yates, State Health Department.

Mosquitos breed around stagnant water, which is water that doesn't move or flow, so you can find mosquitos anywhere from lakes to ponds, or even around your own home in bird baths.

Even though human cases of West Nile in Missouri doubled from 30 to 60 in 2006, that won't keep everyone at home.

"I protect myself from West Nile with pretty much just a shot of "OFF" with a good concentration of Deet. Doesn't smell too bad, seems to do the job pretty good," said Rick Daleen, runner.

"We probably will continue to scale back the non-human surveillance, the environmental surveillance over the next few years unless there is a huge outcry from the public," said Yates.

The severity of the virus is hard to predict and officials have no idea if human cases will go back down this summer. So far this year only Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Texas and California have tested positive for West Nile. Mississippi has reported four human cases already this year, but none so far for Missouri.

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