CDC: West Nile largest spread in U.S. History

TYLER (KYTX) - The West Nile outbreak this year is the worst in history. How East Texans are dealing with it, especially those who have family members affected.

Courtney Cutright tries to keep her kids safe from mosquitoes.

"I use off all the time, I tell people I use it like perfume on them and myself," says Cutright.

That's because her boyfriend contracted west Nile about 2 weeks ago.

"He was tingling and numb from the elbow down. He would break his fever and sweat, soak through a T-shirt like he just got out of the shower," says Cutright.

She says he went to two different clinics before being diagnosed.

He's just one of dozens of cases in east Texas.

There are more than 1,100 reported in the U.S. and 41 deaths, 21 of those in Texas, one in East Texas.

"The numbers have trended down 1 or 2 years, it will pop up, but nothing at this level.," says Russell Hopkins with the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

Hopkins says he expects the numbers to continue to grow for the next 4 weeks here, that's why they continue to spray.

"Usually at this time, we're curtailing, cutting back on that, but being an unusual year we're looking at ramping up," says Hopkins.

NETHealth says they spray in the city of Tyler by complaints, and in areas with stagnant water, and other problems they know will attract mosquitoes. They've also sprayed close to Atria Park on Copeland several times because they know people will be outside, and are over the age that is more easily affected.

Anyone over 50 is more susceptible to contracting the virus.

"There's nothing special about 2012," says Hopkins.

Experts assume the early warm spring and hot summer played a crucial role.

A problem both NETHealth, and people who live in East Texas, hope will die down with the weather.

"They're kids, they like to go outside, you can't prevent them from going out all the time," says Cutright.

Many people don't even know they have the virus.

The most common symptoms include headache, muscle ache, nausea, tiredness and rashes.

For more information on symptoms, click here.

For more on how to protect your children, click here.


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