The city of Georgetown is going the extra mile to prevent the West Nile Virus from affecting Georgetown citizens.
The city and Williamson County and Cities Health District have been testing mosquitoes since early May to ensure that the virus has not affected the area, an effort they intend to carry out through the fall, according to a news release.
Each week traps have been placed by city of Georgetown Transportation Services employees andare then collected by an employee from the health district and taken to the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin to be tested.
The city has also brought in Catherine Zettel Nalen, integrated mosquito management program specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture, to help with the program
Additionally, the city and health district have started a Fight theBitecampaign to further reduce the risk of residents catching the virus. Four steps have been emphasized to keep residents protected: stay indoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, dress in long sleeves or pants, defend against mosquitoes with repellant and drain standing water so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed.
Check your yards and empty any container that can hold water, Zettel Nalen said in a statement.
Zettel Nalen also suggests the use of larvicides such as mosquito dunks for rain barrels or low-lying areas because the naturally occurring bacteria is harmless to people, pets, fish, wildlife and other insects.
Texas Department of State Health Services reported that there were 183 human West Nile Virus disease cases throughout the state in 2013.No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Texas this year, according to the news release.
For more information and facts about the West Nile Virus in Texas, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile.