Georgetown mosquito team aims to zap West Nile

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A mosquito team in Georgetown has yet to find traces of the West Nile Virus in the city, but they said they will stay alert through the fall.

The City of Georgetown and the Williamson County and Cities Health District started trapping mosquitoes in May to test them for the West Nile Virus.

Each week, traps are placed in different locations in Georgetown by transportation services employees, then someone from Health District collects them and takes them to the Texas Department of State Health Services lab for analysis. Williamson County officials will begin testing in other areas this year. Results are posted at the Health District website.

So far this year, there have been no positive tests or human cases of the West Nile Virus in Texas. June, July and August are prime months for mosquito activity in most areas due to warmer temperatures, but the season can stretch through October. The peak of the West Nile Virus activity in mosquitoes and in human cases tends to be in the late summer or fall.

According to the Health District, 80 percent of those who become infected with West Nile Virus do not have any symptoms. Only 1 in 150 cases display the most serious symptoms.

Follow these recommendations to reduce mosquito populations and “fight the bite:”

  • Dawn and dusk are times when mosquitoes are most active, try to stay indoors if at all possible
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors (especially at dawn or dusk)
  • Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed
  • Defend against mosquito bites with an EPA-approved insect repellant

For more information on the West Nile Virus and the response in Texas visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website. For information on mosquito monitoring and outreach effort, visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District website.

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