Galveston County Daily News, July 18, 2007 Column by Drs. Sally Robinson and Keith Bly GALVESTON - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile has been on the rise. In 2004, there were 2,539 diagnoses and 100 deaths; in 2005, 3,000 diagnoses and 119 deaths; in 2006, 4,269 diagnoses and 177. Texas, which has about twice the population of the Midwestern states, suffered 354 reported cases of West Nile disease and 32 deaths in 2006. Whereas, only one person in a group of 194,000 people in Illinois died of West Nile disease, only one in a group of 1.7 million people in Texas died. We accept dangers much greater than this every day.  Although the family is in much greater danger every time it travels in a car, rare diseases that affect the nervous system frighten parents, especially those such as West Nile disease, where no vaccine is available for humans.  So here are steps that can make the chance of contracting West Nile even lower: To minimize mosquito breeding, eliminate standing water in eaves, buckets, cans, bottles, tires, pots, pet dishes, tree stumps, ditches and any containers that may collect water from a rain shower. Mosquitoes can breed in about one thimble-full of water; Mosquitoes are most active just before dawn and at dusk. Keep the kids in during these times; Keep mosquitoes out of the house by checking that screen doors and window screens close tightly and are not torn; and make sure you and the kids wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and that all exposed body parts have been carefully covered with mosquito repellant containing DEET.