A mosquito caught in Georgetown tested positive for West Nile virus: Here's what you need to know

Georgetown officials said Friday that a mosquito collected this week from a trap on the north end of the city's downtown has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The city received test results on the sample Thursday from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin, according to a news release.

Here are nine things to know:

1. The mosquito caught in the trap was of the Culex quinquefasciatus species, also known as the southern house mosquito. It has a flight range of about one mile, according to city officials.

2. The mosquito was collected from the trap Tuesday, Oct. 24.

3. With the weekend expected to bring cooler temperatures and windy weather conditions, truck-mounted insecticide sprayers will not be effective in combating mosquitos, according to the city.

4. Georgetown officials will continue using larvicide tablets to treat standing water found on public property.

5. Georgetown residents are encouraged to drain any sources of standing water in their homes or other properties. Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitos.

6. Although infections of West Nile virus can cause serious illness or death, up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus experience no symptoms, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. People older than 50 or people who have weakened immune systems carry a higher risk of serious illness due to the virus.

7. West Nile symptoms can range from fever, headache and skin rash to more severe systems such as convulsions or paralysis. The virus can remain in a person's system for up to two weeks, according to the health services department.

8. The Williamson County and Cities Health District's Integrated Mosquito Management program recommends three steps to protect people against mosquitos:

  • Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes or clogged gutters so mosquitos don't have a place to breed (treat standing water that cannot be drained).

  • Defend by using insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.


9. More information is available online from the Williamson County and Cities Health District at www.wcchd.org and the Texas Department of State Health Services at www.txwestnile.org.
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