The battle between man and mosquitoes has been raging for almost 100 years. Right from the days when Ronald Ross unearthed the fact that Malaria was spread by Mosquitoes and not by bad air, mankind has been trying to control this pesky creature with varying degree of success. The early sixties and seventies, it seemed that mankind was winning its fight against mosquitoes. However, it proved to a short lived success and today the problem has hit once again with redoubled force.
Mosquitoes have been indicted for the spread of Malaria but also a number of other dangerous diseases like West Nile virus, Dengue and yellow fever. Montgomery County is facing a renewed danger of the spread of West Nile virus with the number of affected patients already reaching 13. Authorities are using air power to tackle the mosquitoes.
The authorities have requisitioned the help of a twin engine plane which has been loaded with mosquito cidal liquid and took off from Conroe airport this evening to spray the liquids over the city to control mosquitoes. The spraying operation will be done from 8.30 PM till midnight and will be repeated every night till August 30. Authorities had employed ground spray teams to control the mosquitoes but the efforts have not been very successful. The airspace utilized includes all above the Precinct 3 and parts of the Precinct 2 and 4.
The first incidence of West Nile Virus was seen in1999 in the US. There has been an epidemic every summer since then. The most important aspect of West Nile Virus is that most people are unaware that they have been infected. There are negligible symptoms in a majority of people who are infected except 20% who suffer from flu like symptoms. However 1% persons can become seriously ill.
West Nile Virus infections are particularly dangerous in the elderly who also suffer from chronic ailments like diabetes, heart ailments etc. Among the 13 persons who have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus are a man in his 60s, a woman in her 50s and also a teenager. A fatality caused by the virus has been reported in Harris County.
The eastern regions of the US have loosened up its condition. However, a major part of the country, west of Mississippi River is facing severe drought conditions.