Harris County Public Health and Meals on Wheels deliver insect repellent to seniors

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HOUSTON – After Harvey dumped all over Houston, Harris County Public Health was quick to get back out and check the mosquito population.

“We did have a little spike but thank God we were able to have the support from the aerial spray,” Dr. Mustapha Debboun, Director Mosquito & Vector Control at Harris County Public Health said.

But with thousands still living in damaged homes, in some cases open to the elements, the little buggers can be a real pain.

Thankfully S.C. Johnson donated 3,500 cans of insect repellant for those most vulnerable.

“We’re really trying to help the elderly. It will definitely help them to protect themselves not only from mosquitoes in general but in not getting West Nile virus, because West Nile virus is in the area and we do have the mosquitos that have West Nile virus,” Debboun said.

While there are plenty of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile, only 2 cases so far this year in humans have been reported, and none since Harvey.

And who better to make sure these cans get in the hands of Houston’s elderly, than “Meals on Wheels?!”

“We deliver food to homebound seniors that don’t have the opportunity to go out and get food or supplies like insect repellant themselves,” said Martin Cominsky President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries.

Volunteers like Lawrence Hutchinson deliver meals to seniors regularly. The added spray can in hand for seniors, like Jim Yeates, is really appreciated.

“Meals on wheels has been great when somebody can’t cook, and i can’t cook this arm was caused by, they think, by some kind of mosquito bite or something,” said Yates.

Yates said a bite he received while gardening got infected, with near deadly results.

“Didn’t think to much of it, thought it was maybe a spider bite or something. Flesh eating virus took my arm really quickly,” Yeates explains.

While this example of a bug bite that caused tragic consequences is a rarity, blood born illnesses won’t be common  if folks just protect themselves.

And a little spray, can go a long way.




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