The presence of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in the University Boulevard area near the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land in the Telfair subdivision, according to a release from the city.
Mosquito spraying will be increased to twice per week citywide, and city officials will continue working closely with the Texas Department of State Health Services to trap and test mosquitos for the presence of the West Nile virus. The traps supplement the city’s larvicide and mosquito spraying operations, according to the release.
Earlier this month, the city confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in a mosquito trap at the 6000 block of Walkers Park South in New Territory.
The mosquitoes were trapped July 31, and Sugar Land officials were notified Aug. 3 that at least one tested positive for West Nile, according to a release from the city.
Humans can contract West Nile when bitten by a mosquito that has contracted the virus from feeding on infected birds. The virus can cause serious illness or death. Dr. Joe Anzaldua, the city's medical director and health authority, urges residents to take precautions to reduce West Nile exposure, according to the release.
"Residents should use insect repellent whenever they are outdoors and avoid going outside at dusk and dawn," Anzaldua said. "People over 50 years old and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if infected with the virus. If people have symptoms that cause them concern, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately."
There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile Virus. Those who are infected may present with the following symptoms:
- stiff neck
- vision problems
- body tremors
- mental confusion
- memory loss
The milder form of the illness is West Nile Fever. Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle and bone aches, nausea and drowsiness. People with the milder form of the illness typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile will have no symptoms and will recover on their own, according to the release from the city. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact their doctor.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends practicing the "Four Ds" as precautionary measures:
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
Residents should also eliminate standing water around their homes, an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Learn more using the city's interactive tool at http://webtools.sugarlandtx.gov/sl/epub/fightthebite/index.html.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/fightthebite.