West Nile Virus, DNA testing highlight Wilco Commissioners Court meeting

Two more mosquitoes in Plano have tested positive for West Nile virus, prompting spraying in two south Plano neighborhoods.

Two more mosquitoes in Plano have tested positive for West Nile virus, prompting spraying in two south Plano neighborhoods.

Tuesday’s weekly Williamson County Commissioners Court meeting had a relatively short agenda, but DNA testing information and West Nile Virus concerns led the discussion.

Here is what you need to know:

West Nile in the area 

John Teel, executive director of the Williamson County and Cities Health District addressed the court about mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus in Williamson County. Two mosquito trap samples tested positive for West Nile Virus. One sample was taken in Georgetown and one in unincorporated Williamson County, Teel said. The samples were tested on Oct. 24 at the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin, the health district said. There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus.

Another mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile Virus last week.

WCCHD recommends residents:

  • Drain standing water in flowerpots, pet dishes or clogged gutters and treat water that cannot be drained

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved insect repellent

  • Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors

  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out


For more information about West Nile Virus, visit www.txwestnile.org.

DNA report

Commissioners heard a final report from the Williamson County District Attorney's office concerning discrepancies with DNA mixture interpretation protocols and FBI databases from 1999-2015. John Prezas, the chief appellate prosecutor for Williamson County, who brought this nationwide issue to the court's attention last year, said research found there was a better way to analyze DNA mixtures of two or more people than what was being done at the time in Williamson County. Last year, the court gave funds to hire a temporary DNA investigator to help sort through 955 samples and narrow it down to about 350 investigations in which these types of DNA samples were collected. Prezas said that of these cases, only about 169 were actually prosecuted and needed to be notified. As of today, 126 had been notified, while the others were either deported or wanted persons, or were unable to be found. Prezas said that of the 350 investigations only around 7 are currently up for re-examination.

Prezas said during the time in question, Williamson County was already using high thresholds and standards for DNA testing and good lab equipment, but that they are happy to comply with any court orders or requests for re-testing.

Commissioners Court holidays

Due to the upcoming holidays, Commissioners Court will not meet Nov. 22, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

For minutes, agendas and announcements visit the website.