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AM Update: West Nile Death, Be Prepared for Wildfires, Film Contest Seeks Submissions

Austin's highest recorded temperature – 112 °F – occurred on this day in 2000. That makes today’s high of 101°F sounds a little more manageable. Here’s some of the region’s top overnight stories. 

Second West Nile Death in Travis County

West Nile virus is being blamed for a second death in Travis County. The person was over 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says age increases the risk of becoming very sick from West Nile.

As of yesterday, Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services says there have been a total of 48 confirmed West Nile virus cases in the county. Two people have died. One person has also died in Williamson County.

Close to half of the cases of West Nile virus in the U.S. have been in Texas this year. The CDC reports more than 700 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in the state.Many cases are in the Dallas area – where 13 people have died in Dallas County alone.

Dallas area officials chose to spray insecticide from airplanes in an effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the disease. A preliminary test showed the spraying seemed to work – a sample of mosquito traps contained no insects infected with the disease.

Health officials say most people who are bit by a mosquito carrying West Nile will never have any symptoms. But one in five could develop mild reactions like a fever and headache and one in 150 could develop a severe case.

September is National Preparedness Month

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary to the start of the devastating Central Texas wildfires. Travis County is encouraging residents to be prepared for future emergencies.

Officials sayeveryone should have an evacuation plan. Officials also say it’s a good idea to put together a disaster supply kit that includes non-perishable food, water, prescription medication and other items such as flashlights and a first aid kit.

While officials say the weather conditions in Central Texas are not as severe as last year – the area is still at risk for wildfire. Travis County Commissioners voted yesterday to extend a burn ban until Oct. 3.

City Seeking Submissions for Film Contest

The City of Austin wants local filmmakers to submit short films for the annual “Faces of Austin” competition.

The films should be less than 10 minutes long and should feature the city. Documentaries, music videos and video collages are just some of the formats accepted.

Selected films will be screened at South by Southwest and featured on the city’s website.

The deadline for this year’s competition is in January. There’s more information on the city’s website.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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