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West Nile season hits a lull

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TWC News: West Nile season hits a lull
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With cooler nights on the way, Austin health officials say West Nile season is on the decline.

In the past few days, health officials are seeing a dramatic decline of West Nile. Not only are there fewer mosquitoes, but those that remain are less likely to pass on the virus.

The area's chief epidemiologist Janet Pichette said Austin fared better than the hard-hit Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"In Travis County, we have four cases per 100,000 population as the incident rate. In Dallas County, it was 12 per 100,000 population," Pichette said. "Of the cases we did investigate, only around 26 percent wore insect repellant.”

In all, Austin-Travis County Health reported 90 cases of West Nile so far this season, 40 of those were the more serious West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease.

Austin City Council Member Laura Morrison hopes educate more residents.

"What that it is an indicator for, is how important our education efforts are," Morrison said.

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services authority Joe Stout said his teams made a valiant effort to educate the public but admits this year brought the perfect ingredients for a record season of West Nile.

They were factors no one could control, and only time and a change in weather could stop them.

Officials say they did not spray within Austin City Limits, but they have done some ground spraying in unincorporated Travis County, as well as used larvacide in several test pools

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