Cooke Co. has first West Nile fatality

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

COOKE COUNTY, TEXAS -- Cooke County has been doing what many counties are doing to get rid of mosquitoes and fight off West Nile.

"We have started a testing program. We tested five sites last week: Valley View, Lindsey, Lake Kiowa and Pioneer Valley and we did two in Lake Kiowa," Cooke County Emergency Manager Ray Fletcher said.

Fletcher has been trapping mosquitoes and sending them off to be tested for the virus.

"All of those tested negative," Fletcher said.

But although the county has seen reassuring results from the traps, today they announced their first West Nile-related death.

"A 76 year-old male that lived in the southwest part of Gainesville," Fletcher said.

This isn't the first West Nile death for Texoma.

In Texas, as of Friday, the department of state health is reporting West Nile-related deaths in Cooke, Collin, Lamar and Montague counties.

In Oklahoma, as of Thursday, the state department of health reports two deaths in Carter County.

"Right now, we encourage everyone to assume that West Nile-carrying mosquitoes are in their neighborhood. In Cooke County right now, we have three confirmed neuroinvasive West Nile cases and one West Nile fever case," Fletcher said.

Two Cooke County cities, Gainesville and Meunster, have sprayed for mosquitoes.

Fletcher says the county is setting out more traps for testing, but won't update their prevention strategy.

"At this point I don't believe the approach that we're taking will change much. We'll keep testing and try to narrow down where we have the cases at, if we have them and focus on those areas," Fletcher said.


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