Mosquito pools in Travis County test positive for West Nile Virus

Four mosquito pools in Travis County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The pools are in the 78744 zip code and tested positive within the last two weeks.

There are currently no human cases of West Nile Virus identified in Travis County. In 2020, there were 36 positive mosquito pools in Travis County and 1,389 positive pools across the state of Texas, and four confirmed West Nile virus cases.

"We use routine monitoring to assist us in alerting the public about the potential spread of the virus through mosquito bites," said Austin Public Health Interim Assistant Director of Environmental Vector Control Marcel Elizondo. "By eliminating breeding opportunities and protecting ourselves from mosquito bites, we keep ourselves, our families, and communities safe."

West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. It is typically spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Center for Disease Control, West Nile Virus is not spread through coughing, sneezing, or touching other people or live animals.  

Only about 20 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus develop symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Of those infected, few develop further serious illnesses affecting the central nervous system. 

People over 60 years of age are at greater risk of developing serious disease, as are those with medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease. Organ transplant recipients are also at risk for more severe forms of disease.  

Know the dangers and fight the bite with the "Four D’s":  

Drain standing water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water and need as little as one teaspoon. Emptying water that accumulates in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters, and plant pots will deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce. 

Dawn to Dusk: Although different species of mosquitoes are active at different times of day, the Culex mosquito that spreads West Nile Virus is most active between dusk and dawn. 

Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; mosquito repellent clothing is also available. 

DEET: Apply insect repellant: Use an EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone. Apply on both exposed skin and clothing.  

Mosquitoes are present in Central Texas year-round, but the population is largest and most active from May through November. During this period, the APH Environmental Vector Control Unit monitors the mosquito population.  

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