WilCo Mosquito Samples Test Positive For West Nile Virus

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX —A follow-up sampling of mosquitoes taken at two expanded traps near the Southwest Williamson County Regional Park tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Thursday. Williamson County and Cities Health District officials said they set up two expanded trap sites following last week’s positive mosquito sample. […]

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX —A follow-up sampling of mosquitoes taken at two expanded traps near the Southwest Williamson County Regional Park tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Thursday.

Williamson County and Cities Health District officials said they set up two expanded trap sites following last week’s positive mosquito sample. Both of the expanded traps came up with positive test results, officials said, while the original trap tested negative. No other samples were found to be positive from routine trapping this week as part of the health district’s Integrated Vector Management program.

“Health officials strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property,” officials wrote in an advisory. “Please eliminate all standing water around your house or on your property. Mosquitoes cannot breed without standing water. Residents should treat ponds, rain barrels, or other stagnant water that can’t be drained with a larvicide. Please apply the treatment based on its labeled use. These products can be found at local home improvement stores.”

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Williamson County parks staff will continue mosquito control efforts with the treatment of standing water with larvicide, officials said, adding the health district will continue enhanced monitoring and expanded testing, along with increased public outreach and education. “Williamson County is prepared to take additional action if necessary,” officials said.

Health officials noted there have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County since 2017. West Nile Virus should not be confused with other mosquito-borne viruses, officials added, and there has been no evidence of mosquitoes transmitting COVID-19.

This is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines the West Nile virus:

“West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.”

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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