West Nile Virus identified in Travis County mosquito pools

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four mosquito pools in Travis County have tested positive for West Nile Virus within the past two weeks, Austin Public Health announced Thursday. The four positive locations were found in the 78744 zip code.

No positive human cases related to West Nile Virus have been found within Travis County, but APH officials noted “the positive mosquito pools indicate the virus is in our community.” Travis County reported 36 positive mosquito pools for West Nile Virus during 2020, out of the 1,389 positive pools of the virus found throughout the state of Texas last year.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes, APH officials said. It is not spread via coughing, sneezing or touching people or other live animals, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Out of all people infected with West Nile Virus, approximately 205 exhibit symptoms including a headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rashes. Individuals age 60 or older are at a higher risk of developing a serious disease, as well as individuals with cancer, diabetes, hypertension or other diseases.

More information on West Nile Virus is available here.

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