From Andrew Bill, City Manager, Morgan’s Point Resort
I want to share my personal story on this. Everyone has something that is important to them according to their life experience. It could be ending world hunger, mothers against drunk driving, or curing cancer. For myself, it’s mosquitoes. I remember my grandmother hollering at the top of her lungs to come back into the house when all we wanted to do was play in the summer-time sprinklers, just as all kids do. She used to say in Spanish, “There are lots of mosquitoes!” Her tone was so fearful and sharp, but as kids do, I dismissed what she was trying to say – mosquitoes are very dangerous and the number one most deadliest animal. Grandma was rightly afraid. Mosquitoes kill more people each year than humans, snakes, dogs, crocodiles, hippos, wolves and sharks – COMBINED! The one thing you have to remember when it comes to mosquito borne illnesses is that you might NOT die -- you MIGHT live with a crippling illness that affects your quality of life, forever. Personally, in late July 2012, my health and my husband’s health was forever altered. We both contracted West Nile Virus encephalitis. Often, West Nile, Zika and Dengue viruses are mistaken for other illnesses, and go undiagnosed. In our case, the correct diagnosis took six months! Not that it mattered, because there is no cure or treatment for West Nile Virus and if it infects the brain, the damage is permanent. Every person’s recovery is different with long-term effects ranging from mild to severe disfunction. I was comatose for a short time and when I woke up, I suffered serious complications. Seven years later, Shawn and I still suffer the effects of the virus. We were both infected here in Morgan’s Point Resort, and as in our case, it was not reported to the health department. Usually, infectious symptoms are mild and people do not seek treatment for illnesses that mimic the flu. So, when I look at the number of reported cases of mosquito-borne diseases, I already know the data is not a true picture of the problem. And because the number of reported cases are lower than the actual number of people suffering, the public is not as alarmed as they should be. Think about it; mosquito-borne infections kill more people around the world than are murdered. In 2017, less than 15,000 people died in armed conflicts worldwide, yet approximately 750,000 people died from mosquito-carried infections. In general, people are more afraid of snakes and spiders than they are of a pesky mosquito, but the mosquito is far more deadly. But why aren’t people concerned? Mosquitoes and viruses are here to stay. As good stewards of the community we serve, I want to see us be more proactive about educating the public. Keep in mind, there is no perfect solution, and there is not one thing that will solve the problem. It is going to take educating people to protect themselves – wear mosquito repellant, long sleeves, long pants, and stay indoors at dawn & dusk.
Please take time to watch these videos and share this with your friends and family. This could happen to you or someone you know and love … and my case, it happened to both me and my spouse.
This story came out in 2012, the worst year for WNV = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_q5LaIMJic
West Nile – Zika – Dengue – Chikungunya … and now, “Eastern Equine Encephalitis” is a making a record-breaking year. These are all viruses that are here, in Texas, and they are not going away.