Mosquitoes in 21 Texas counties, together with Bexar, examined optimistic for the West Nile virus in 2020
Health officials from a city in the Austin area confirmed last Friday that a mosquito trap sample from the area tested positive for the West Nile virus.
The positive sample, found near an HEB store in Cedar Park, was the first time since October 2018 that a mosquito trap from that location tested positive for the virus, according to a city press release.
So far this year, 21 counties in Texas, including Bexar County, have reported a trace of the West Nile virus in farm animals, humans, or mosquitoes, according to the Texas Department of Health. Earlier this year, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District announced that a sample collected east of downtown on July 15 tested positive for the West Nile.
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The data shows that counties such as Brazos, Travis, Harris, and Nueces Counties have also reported traces of the West Nile virus. Click here for a map of counties with confirmed cases of West Nile Virus. The map was last updated on November 3rd.
Mosquitoes are common in central Texas year round, but health experts at Cedar Park say the population is most active from May to November.
Symptoms of infection can include a fever, headache, body pain, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. People aged 50 and over or those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of severe symptoms.
Cedar Park officials encouraged residents to take the following steps to limit the chance of being bitten:
- Twilight until dawn: Although different types of mosquitoes are active at different times of the day, the types that spread the West Nile virus are most active between dusk and dawn.
- Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting or mosquito-repellent clothing.
- DEET: Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Read and follow the directions on the label. Spray a repellent on both exposed skin and clothing.
- Drain: Get rid of stagnant water in your yard and in your neighborhood. Old tires, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, bird baths and paddling pools can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Priscilla Aguirre is a general affairs reporter for MySA.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | @CillaAguirre