October 27, 2003 Albany- Doris Fowler and her dog Josh spend plenty of time patrolling the alley behind her 6th Avenue home for mosquito breeding grounds.
"It was really surprising how much water was standing in tires," Fowler said.
She doesn't have that problem any more.
"Our commissioner helped us with that," she said.
But that doesn't stop her from keeping a close eye on her own property. After a West Nile death in the downtown Albany area, experts are answering plenty of questions.
The advice they're giving is not new. The most important thing is to clean up standing water on your property.
"It doesn't take very much to breed a lot of mosquitoes, so we want people to be looking at self-protection from a number of perspectives," said Paul Newell, the district health director.
Even though it's cooling off, it's still important to protect yourself. And that means keeping plenty of insect repellant on hand.
Officials don't want you to panic, but they do want you to realize the disease is a threat. In 1999, there were 62 cases of West Nile nationwide. Seven people died from the disease. So far this year, there have been more than 73-hundred cases and 155 deaths.
So the safest thing you can do for yourself and your neighbors is to take care of your yard. Doris and Josh will be counting on it.