Mosquito sample tests positive for West Nile virus in West Austin

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A mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus, the first the Austin and Travis County area for this year, Austin Public Health announced Thursday.

The sample was collected in the West Austin area ZIP code of 78746; however there have been no human cases of the virus reported in Austin this year. Williamson County and Cities Health District announced the collection of a West Nile virus-positive sample in Cedar Park on Oct. 3. Cedar Park has also not seen any human cases of the virus.

Approximately 80 percent of people infected with West Nile show no symptoms, the release said. The last reported human case of West Nile virus in Williamson County was in October 2016.

According to the press release, peak months for mosquitos in Austin are April through September. To control mosquitoes and reduce the chance of exposure to the illness, city of Austin officials recommend regularly emptying out outdoor water-holding containers, wearing light-colored, loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing and applying Environmental Protection Agency-recommended insect repellent.

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Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Northwest Austin reporter. She is also responsible for city-wide health care and entertainment coverage. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism in May 2017.

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