Mosquito season is officially underway until October or November and has brought its first 2024 West Nile virus confirmation to Fort Bend County.

The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services’ Environmental Health Division confirmed a mosquito sample containing West Nile virus in the 77498 ZIP code, near northeast Sugar Land, according to a June 4 news release.

What residents need to know

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease spread by obtaining a bite from an infected carrier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many with the virus don’t show any symptoms, though those who do can exhibit:
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
There are no known treatments for West Nile, according to the CDC. If residents suspect they may have contracted West Nile virus, they should contact their health care providers.

Staying prepared

To combat contracting West Nile from an infected mosquito, residents should remember to protect themselves against bites, especially during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, according to the county’s release.

Some mosquito-repelling precautions include:
  • Dressing in long sleeves and pants
  • Draining any standing body of water in flower pots, pet dishes, gutters or other containers
  • Using insect repellent approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
What else?

According to the CDC, many local entities also provide citywide treatment for prevention, including:
  • Katy: sprays weekly from May to October with a different part of the city being sprayed Monday through Thursday
  • Missouri City: sprays every Thursday from May until the first week of November
  • Sugar Land: sprays weekly from May to October on Fridays
  • Fulshear: provides larvicide dunks, which kill mosquito larvae by be placed in places prone to hold standing water, for residents at City Hall
What they’re saying

“After the recent rains and warmer first months of the year, we are seeing an increase in mosquito populations,” FBCHHS Director Dr. Letosha Gale-Lowe said in the release. “We remind our residents to enjoy the outdoors but remember to protect themselves and their families from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.”

Looking ahead

Fort Bend County began spray operations June 4 for the affected ZIP code and its surrounding areas and will continue to monitor the area until there are no longer any positive samples, according to the release.