West Nile virus found in four Travis County mosquito pools

Photo of a mosquito on an arm
West Nile virus can be transmitted to people from one species of mosquito found in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

West Nile virus can be transmitted to people from one species of mosquito found in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Austin Public Health announced Aug. 26 that four mosquito pools in Travis County tested positive for West Nile virus within the past two weeks.

The positive pools were all located in the 78744 ZIP code and were detected in the course of routine monitoring for mosquito-borne diseases, APH said.

“We use routine monitoring to assist us in alerting the public about the potential spread of the virus through mosquito bites,” said Marcel Elizondo, APH interim assistant director of environmental vector, in a statement. “By eliminating breeding opportunities and protecting ourselves from mosquito bites, we keep ourselves, our families and communities safe.”

No cases of West Nile virus in humans have been reported. Last year, APH identified 36 positive mosquito pools throughout Travis County out of 1,389 in all of Texas. Four human cases were reported in Texas in 2020.

West Nile virus is most often transmitted through a mosquito bite and is not contagious through most person-to-person contact, APH said. Among those who contract West Nile virus, around 20% develop symptoms, including head and body aches, joint pain, vomiting, and rash, and some also present more serious symptoms affecting the central nervous system.


To mitigate the risks posed by mosquitos, APH recommends eliminating pools of standing water where mosquitos breed, wearing insect repellent, wearing long pants and sleeves when outside, and staying inside from dusk to dawn.

Mosquitos are most active from May-December.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.



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