Mosquito trap tests positive for West Nile in Georgetown

A mosquito trap collected this week has tested positive for West Nile virus, says the city of Georgetown.

The trap sample was collected on Tuesday Oct. 5 near Diamond Dove Trail and Airport Road in north Georgetown. The positive test was then indicated in lab results received Oct. 6 from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.

The city says the trap testing is part of its participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s (WCCHD) Integrated Vector Management program. 

So far this year, there have been eight mosquito samples pools that returned positive for West Nile virus in Williamson County, but this is the first positive trap in 2021 at this location, says the city. The last positive trap collected at this location was October 2016. 

There have been no reported incidences of people being infected by the West Nile virus in Williamson County, but the City and the Health District are encouraging everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites when outdoors and prevent mosquito breeding on their personal property.

Symptoms of infection may include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • body aches
  • skin rash on the trunk of the body
  • 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
  • death in rare cases

City parks staff will continue mosquito control efforts with the treatment of standing water with larvicide, and WCCHD will continue enhanced monitoring and testing, along with increased public outreach and education. The City 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, says the city. During this period, WCCHD monitors the mosquito population and tests for mosquito-borne viruses.

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, says the city.

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-approved insect repellent
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors

For more information, go to the WCCHD website or visit the Texas DSHS West Nile website.

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