AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Public Health is asking for the public to be “mosquito aware,” after 14 positive pools of mosquitoes and two human cases were reported in Travis County.
The city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit reports the two human cases are “probable neuroinvasive” cases.
The first probable human case was reported back in late July, but it’s not just Travis County where positive mosquitoes have been found this summer. Less than a week ago, it was reported West Nile-carrying mosquitoes were found in Georgetown.
Mosquitoes at a trap near Southwest Williamson County Regional Park also tested positive at least twice in July.
Austin Public Health says most people who contract West Nile will not have any type of illness, but an estimated 20% will develop a fever and mild, flu-like symptoms. People over 50 are at a higher risk for severe illness, and symptoms could include disorientation, coma, tremors or vision loss.
The last significant West Nile Virus outbreak in Travis County was in 2012. There were 153 human cases and six deaths reported in the county, according to Austin Public Health.
Mosquitoes are most active in Central Texas from May through November, Austin Public Health says. Here’s how you can prevent getting bit:
- Avoid being outside from dusk through dawn — this is when the mosquito species that spreads West Nile is most active.
- Wear pants and long sleeves outside. Clothing should also be light colored and loose fitting.
- Use insect repellent with DEET — spraying both exposed skill and clothing.
- Get rid of standing water in your yard and neighborhood by draining.
More information on West Nile in Austin and Travis County can be found online.