San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on Aug. 24 said West Nile virus was detected in a mosquito pool collected from a trap in northeast San Antonio around the O’Connor Road/Nacogdoches Road area.
According to a city news release, the mosquito pool was discovered Aug. 4 and submitted for testing Aug. 8 as part of the health department’s ongoing mosquito surveillance efforts.
The release said Metro Health’s Vector Control team assessed and treated the nearby areas.
Increased rainfall may result in increased hatching of mosquito eggs, Metro Health said, adding it needs the community’s assistance in preventing mosquitoes.
- Remove standing water from vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans and rain barrels.
- Improve sanitation by removing organic matter, such as animal waste, cut grass or leaves, from water. Metro Health said chances mosquito larvae will survive may increase because contaminated matter provides food for larvae to eat.
- Protect yourself by using an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on skin not covered by clothing. According to Metro Health, it is important to spray insect repellent even on the outside of your clothing because mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing.
- Metro Health also said insect repellents should not be used on young infants. Also, people are urged to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks to protect exposed skin during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are active.
- The city also urged residents to use air conditioning and make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering their home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is most spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then spread West Nile virus to people and other animals by biting them, the release said.
Metro Health said cases of West Nile virus occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat West Nile virus in people.
Most people infected with West Nile do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develops a fever and other symptoms such as a headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash, according to Metro Health.
About 1 in 150 people who are infected develops a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, which is inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Metro Health said severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people age 60 or older are at greater risk for severe illness if they are infected.
People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants are also at greater risk.