(CTN News) – As a result of a mosquito sample being tested positive for West Nile Virus in Harris County by the Harris County Public Health Mosquito and Vector Control Division, the department has confirmed.
In southwest Harris County in zip code 77005, the positive sample was collected from a mosquito trapping site in southwest Harris County.
It has been confirmed that West Nile Virus has been detected in the area where the positive mosquito was found, as well as in the surrounding areas, officials have started evening spraying operations following the discovery.
It is planned to begin the operation at 5 p.m. on Friday evening so that infected mosquitoes cannot transmit the disease to humans.
As a result of our comprehensive mosquito surveillance program, we are able to detect the presence of the virus in our community and guide our control efforts in order to better protect our residents.
Our area has been infected with West Nile virus since 2002. We encourage our residents to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months, but also to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases,” stated Dr. Maximea (Max) Vigilant, Director of the MVCD.
Throughout the year, mosquitoes are present. However, they are more prevalent during the warmer months, and are most active from June through October.
In our area, 56 species of mosquitoes are found, but only a few transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika.
In most cases, people who are infected with West Nile Virus do not exhibit any symptoms or experience only mild symptoms such as low-grade fever and headaches.
In more severe cases, signs and symptoms may include high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, encephalitis, and, in rare cases, death.
Contact your healthcare provider if you suspect that you have been infected with West Nile Virus.
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent mosquito breeding sites around your home, especially following severe weather events:
Make sure all pet bowls, flowerpots, tires, buckets, and other containers are emptied of standing water.
Change the water in your birdbath every three to five days if you have one.
It is also possible for mosquitoes to breed in small places where stagnant water may be hidden from view. The following tips can be used to reduce mosquito breeding in those covered areas:
Remove debris, trash, and other unwanted items from your home.
Ensure that rain gutters are not clogged.
Avoid overfilling outdoor trash bins and keep them closed.
Storm drains should not be swept of lawn clippings, leaves, or litter as this will prevent water from flowing, creating ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
By emptying stagnant water from flowerpots, buckets, tires, or anything else that collects water, you can minimize the possibility of standing water accumulating.