Public health officials are cautioning residents of the re-emergence of West Nile virus in North Texas. As a result, Tarrant County Public Health is asking residents to take precautions, according to a county news release.
Increased precautions are even more important amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, TCPH Director Vinny Taneja said.
“It’s prudent to stay focused on protecting against COVID-19, and although mosquitoes do not carry the COVID-19 virus, we don’t want to minimize the dangers of West Nile right now,” Taneja said.
Tarrant County officials confirmed the county’s first positive West Nile virus sample April 24. There have been at least six positive tests confirmed in the Keller and Northeast Fort Worth areas.
City of Keller officials announced the city’s second and third positive tests of 2020 on July 17.
According to city officials, the positive tests were confirmed at locations on the 8700 block of Davis Boulevard and the 7000 block of Shady Grove Road. TCPH officials responded by ground-spraying the areas July 18 and 19.
“Efforts will target roads and public land within a half-mile of the trap collection sites,” the city said in a statement.
West Nile virus, which can be transmitted year-round, is primarily a seasonal epidemic during summer months, according to officials. The virus is most commonly spread via mosquito bite, and symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after a bite.
Public health officials are reminding residents to safeguard against the virus by dumping standing water, using mosquito repellent and dressing in long sleeves and pants whenever possible.
The above map shows mosquito test samples in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth area. The map indicates whether samples were positive or negative for West Nile virus and the date the sample was collected.
For more information on West Nile virus in Tarrant County, click here.