Mosquito Trap Pool Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Georgetown
A mosquito trap sample collected Tuesday on the northwest side of downtown Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. This testing is part of the City of Georgetown’s participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s (WCCHD) Integrated Mosquito Management program. The positive test was indicated in lab results received yesterday afternoon from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.
The sample was collected from a trap near Yellow Rose St. on Aug. 11. West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. In 2020, there have been five mosquito trap pools that returned positive for West Nile Virus in Williamson County.
While there have been no incidences of human infection of West Nile Virus in Williamson County this year, symptoms of infection may include fever, headache and body aches, a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph nodes. Those over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe illness, which may include stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis and death.
City of Georgetown parks staff will continue mosquito control efforts with the treatment of standing water with larvacide, WCCHD will continue enhanced monitoring and testing, along with increased public outreach and education. Williamson County is prepared to take additional action if necessary.
Mosquitoes are present in Central Texas year-round, but the population is largest and most active from May through November. During this period, WCCHD monitors the mosquito population and tests for mosquito-borne viruses.
The most important way to prevent West Nile Virus is to reduce the number of mosquitoes where people work and play. Health officials strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property. Mosquitoes can only breed in standing water, but only need as little as one teaspoon. By draining all sources of standing water in and around your property, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.
What you can do Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus. As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 3 Ds of mosquito safety:
- Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,
- Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, and
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
For more information, go to the WCCHD website at www.wcchd.org or visit the Texas Department of State Health Services West Nile website at txwestnile.org.