A mosquito trap sample collected in the City of Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile virus. This testing is part of Williamson County and Cities Health District’s Integrated Vector Management program. The positive test was indicated in lab results received on June 29 from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.
The positive sample was collected from a trap site near Blue Hole Park, 100 Blue Hole Park Road. This is the first time a positive sample was collected from this location.
This is the fourth reported West Nile virus positive trap in Williamson County in five weeks of the 2023 season. Positive mosquito samples have been previously detected in Georgetown (Geneva Park) and Jarrell (Sonterra Community).
“As we near the July 4th holiday and enjoy outdoor activities (especially at dusk when the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active), I encourage everyone to use an EPA-approved insect repellent if spending time outdoors, empty wading pools when not in use, and ensure permanent pools are properly maintained and chlorinated,” Jason Fritz, integrated vector management program lead, said. “While we cannot predict if West Nile virus activity will continue at this rate, following the simple precautions to protect yourself and reduce breeding conditions will help the community.”
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.
Symptoms of infection may include fever, headache, and body aches, a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph nodes. Those age 50 and older and/or with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for severe symptoms, which may include stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis, and in rare cases, death.
The most important way to prevent West Nile virus is to reduce the number of mosquitoes where people live, 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 breed in standing water, needing 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 flowerpots, 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-registered insect repellent, and
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.