P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2012
AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) this week urged Texans to take precautions against the threat of the West Nile Virus. Texas has confirmed 465 cases of the illness this year, about three times the average annual rate.
Senator Nelson serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and has authored several bills strengthening Texas' ability to respond to public health emergencies and improving disaster preparedness. Under her leadership, the Legislature has passed measures strengthening evacuation procedure awareness, protecting first responders during disasters, and funding antiviral stockpiles for the H1N1 virus. More information about Texas' emergency preparedness can be found at www.texasprepares.org.
"From the H1N1 virus to hurricanes to wildfires, Texas has one of the most tested emergency response plans in the nation," said Senator Nelson. "We are closely following reports of West Nile across the state and encourage Texans to learn how to minimize exposure to this serious condition."
Texans can defend themselves against the West Nile virus by using the "four Ds":
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
The Department of Public Safety, the Department of State Health Services, along with other federal, state and local health partners are working to address the threat of the West Nile virus. Regular updates are available at www.txdps.state.tx.us.