Mosquitoes in Wichita Falls test positive for West Nile Virus

Local News
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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory has confirmed that there are two pools of mosquitoes from Wichita Falls that have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

The mosquitoes were collected from traps placed in the city as part of the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District’s routine mosquito surveillance program.

The mosquito pools that tested positive were collected on the south side of Wichita Falls. However, all citizens are urged to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

The West Nile Virus can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. However, anyone can reduce their risk of being infected by following these precautions:

  1. Dump/Drain: Be sure to dump or drain and wipe the sides of containers (such as pet bowls, rain barrels,
    children’s toys, or tarps, etc.) that hold water. Mosquitoes start their life cycle in the water and many
    species lay their eggs above the waterline on the inside of containers, which is why it is important to wipe
    the sides.
  2. Deet: If you are going outside wear an EPA approved insect repellent. Be sure to follow the label
    instructions on application and reapplication. Consult your pediatrician about what age it is appropriate
    to use an insect repellent on young children and what type they recommend.
  3. Dress: Wear long sleeves and long pants if you are going to be outside especially if you are doing an activity
    that will stir up mosquitoes resting in the grass such as yard work or outdoor sports.
  4. Dusk/Dawn and all Day: Mosquitoes are generally considered most active at dusk and dawn so when you
    are able to limit your outdoor activities at those times; however, you should follow proper mosquito
    precautions any time you are outdoors no matter what time of day.

The Health District’s Environmental Health Division will continue its integrated pest management program for mosquito control. This includes continuing to test mosquitoes for West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, treating standing water, eliminating breeding areas and spraying for adult mosquitoes when weather conditions are favorable.

Only some mosquito species that are present in Wichita County have the capability of spreading diseases such as West Nile Virus; most are considered a nuisance.

At this time, the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District has not received any reports of a positive human case of West Nile Virus this season.

Even so, if you experience flu-like symptoms following a mosquito bite, please contact your healthcare provider.

To request spraying for mosquitoes, please contact the Health District’s Vector Control unit at (940) 761-7890.

For more information about the Health District’s mosquito abatement program, please call (940) 761-8896 or (940) 761-7822.

For questions about West Nile Virus visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

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