CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Two mosquito trap samples that were collected in Cedar Park last week have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The two positive samples were both collected from the same trap site near the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on October 6. The testing was part of Williamson County and Cities Health District’s (WCCHD) Integrated Vector Management program.
The last time a positive sample was collected from this location was in November 2020. Expanded trapping in the area will begin Tuesday and signage will be posted.
There haven’t been any reported human cases of West Nile in Williamson County so far this year.
Last year, there were 12 mosquito trap samples that tested positive for the virus in Williamson County, however, there were no human cases reported in 2021.
Mosquitoes are present in Central Texas year-round, but the population is largest and most active from May through November. During this period, WCCHD monitors the mosquito population and tests for mosquito-borne viruses.
Symptoms and prevention
Symptoms of infection may include fever, headache, and body aches, a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph nodes. Those aged 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, and in rare cases, death.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to reduce the number of mosquitoes where people live, work, and play. Health officials strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, needing as little as one teaspoon. By draining all sources of standing water in and around your property, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.
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. 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-registered insect repellent, and
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.