GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A mosquito trap collected last week north of downtown Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The city will start spraying insecticide in the area the positive sample was collected, Wednesday night, due to the number of children and adults who will be outside for Halloween activities over the weekend.
A city vehicle will use a pyrethrin-based insecticide along streets and in public parks. The insecticide is expected to reduce the adult mosquito population in the area. The city says spraying will only be done if the wind speed is less than 10 mph.
Georgetown also continues to use larvicide tablets to treat standing water found on public property. There are currently no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Williamson County and there hasn’t been since 2014.
In late September, mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile in Hutto, leading to enhanced mosquito control efforts in the city. On Tuesday, the Department of State Health Services confirmed a case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease in Bastrop County. Due to privacy concerns, the department could not confirm it as the case of teenager Cody Hopkins, of Elgin, who died Oct. 9. Hopkins’ family told KXAN he died after contracting West Nile Virus.
Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. 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. Here’s what you can do:
- 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.
Eighty percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. The other 20 percent will have mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, body aches and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. More severe symptoms are possible, but less common.
For more information on West Nile virus, read the Department of State Health Services fact sheet, found here.