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COUNTY LIFE

July 4th plans should include mosquito protection

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With outdoor activities on the holiday calendar for millions of Texans next week, the Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the diseases they can bring.

The best thing people can do to protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile and Zika is to use insect repellent every time they’re outside. Plus, recent rains across the state mean it’s an important time to dump out standing water around homes and businesses so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs.

Several types of mosquitoes that can transmit disease thrive in Texas. Zika remains a serious threat because it can cause birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy, and West Nile can sicken hundreds of people a year in Texas, resulting in more than 3,500 illnesses and 167 deaths over the last 10 years.

Routine mosquito surveillance has detected West Nile activity this year in the Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso and Beaumont areas. The state has reported three Zika cases, all acquired while Texas residents were visiting other countries where Zika is being spread.

Some simple steps at home and while traveling will help people protect themselves and their communities from illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes:

  • Regularly apply EPA-registered insect repellent while outdoors.
  • Dump out all standing water inside and outside homes and businesses; scrub outdoor containers to dislodge mosquito eggs.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure window and door screens are in good repair.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and long pants to help prevent bites.

“These seem like small actions, but they make a huge difference in keeping people from getting sick or even dying from mosquito-borne diseases,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt. “If individual Texans will take these steps, they will limit the spread of West Nile and prevent Zika from becoming established here.”

People should see their health care provider for possible testing if they experience symptoms of West Nile or Zika. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, an itchy rash, joint pain and eye redness. West Nile virus can cause headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. A more serious form of West Nile disease, in which the virus invades the nervous system, can cause neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

DSHS has launched a revamped TexasZika.org website with easier-to-access information on Zika cases and precautions, printable prevention materials, and diagnosis and testing guidance for health care providers. Information about West Nile virus is available at TxWestNile.org.

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COUNTY LIFE

Deadline nears for Wreaths Across America purchase

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There is still time to purchase a wreath and support the Wreaths Across America program in Bowie to lay wreaths on veteran’s graves in Elmwood Cemetery.
Deadline to purchase a wreath is Dec. 6 at a cost of $15. Visit the GFWC Amity Club of Bowie Facebook page for the order form or call Angela at 940-841-11315.
Families also may purchase wreaths they can pick up and take to other cemeteries. Wreaths will be laid in ceremonies on Dec. 17 at Elmwood. The public is invited to attend.

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COUNTY LIFE

All Together Show joins youth fair schedule

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There will be a new addition to the Montague County Youth Fair in 2023 as the All Together Livestock Show debuts on Jan. 5, 2023.
Justin Hansard, county AgriLife Extension agent, said All Together is designed to give students with special needs an opportunity to participate in the Montague County Youth Fair without the requirement of raising or prepping their own livestock animal.
Participants will be matched with a volunteer(s) and livestock animal and given the opportunity to show that animal in the ring for an individualized experience.

Entries are now open for the show.

Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.

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COUNTY LIFE

McKinney, Moore receive top 2022 firefighter awards

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By BARBARA GREEN
editor@bowienewsonline.com
The City of Bowie Fire Department honored its own this week during the annual Thanksgiving awards dinner on Nov. 21.
City officials, friends and families of firefighters attended to watch as service awards and firefighter training certifications were presented, along with the firefighter of the year honors. New firefighter recruits also received their badges that were pinned on by friends and family.
Assistant Fire Chief Joel Moore brought the welcome and served as emcee in the absence of an ill Fire Chief Doug Page.

The Roy Gene Williams Award is an award for a volunteer firefighter selected by his fellow volunteers. Levi Davis, 2021 award recipient, presented the 2022 honor to James McKinney.
Firefighter of the Year was presented by Cody Byler, 2020 recipient and it went to Joel Moore.

Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.

Joel Moore, the Firefighter of the Year recipient is congratulated by Ross Hamilton, fellow firefighter. They are the only men who have won the Firefighter of the Year Award three times. See more photos in the weekend Bowie News.
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