Another Bexar County mosquito has tested positive for West Nile Virus, Bexar County Public Works officials confirmed Friday.
The mosquito was the second one found in the county to test positive for the West Nile Virus in the past month. Both were discovered in the northwestern portion of the county, in an unincorporated area just north of Shaenfield Road outside of Loop 1604.
As part of an agreement with the State of Texas, the County sets mosquito traps where they catch the insects and then sends them away for testing. Infected mosquitoes in Bexar County have only been found to have West Nile Virus, an official told the Rivard Report. The City also confirmed Friday that the 16th case of Zika has been recorded in San Antonio. All cases of Zika in the city were acquired abroad and no mosquitoes infected with the virus have actually been found in Bexar County, officials said.
Throughout the summer, County Public Works officials have been treating more than 4,200 acres of public ditches, various public rights of way, drains, County parks, and standing water with larvicide. They’ve also been routinely fogging these areas during the nighttime, all to prevent mosquitoes from multiplying.
West Nile virus is typically not as serious as, say, the Zika virus, but the vast majority of those infected recover completely. Most people, around 70-80%, don’t develop any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but some may develop a fever or other symptoms such as headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Only about 1% of people with West Nile develop severe neurologic illnesses, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
Still, Bexar County does not want to take any chances. In accordance with the county’s “pour it out” campaign, officials remind all county residents to drain all stagnant water – which attracts mosquitoes – to stop the insects from multiplying. Draining water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, and flower pots as well as any other items where water has been collected is encouraged.
Below are a few more ways to minimize the chance of mosquitoes reproducing:
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
- Cover skin with clothing or repellent.
- Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitos are present.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
Top image: The Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus, can carry West Nile Virus. Photo courtesy of Flickr user microbiologybytes.