West Nile Virus-Carrying Mosquitoes Confirmed in Bell County | KAMR
2 mins read

West Nile Virus-Carrying Mosquitoes Confirmed in Bell County | KAMR

BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been confirmed in Bell County.

According to the District Public Health (BCPH), residents are encouraged to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses. Over the past six weeks, six West Nile virus positive clusters have been discovered through routine surveillance in zip codes 76502 (three clusters), 76543 (two clusters) and 76554 (one positive cluster). This testing is part of BCPH’s Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program.

According to BCPH, West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. It is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), West Nile virus is not transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or contact with other people or living animals.

Symptoms of infection may include fever, headache, body aches, a rash on the trunk, and swollen lymph nodes. People aged 50 and over and/or those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for serious symptoms, which may include stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis, and, in rare cases, death.

Here are the best steps residents can take to protect themselves and their families:

  1. DEET: Whenever you are outdoors, use insect repellents containing DEET or other EPA-approved repellents and follow the instructions.
  2. DRESS CODE: Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing outdoors.
  3. DRAINAGE: Eliminate any standing water in and around your home. Check areas like gutters,
    bird baths, tires, planters, etc.
  4. DUSK AND DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during the hours of dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

BCPH can assist in providing mosquito repellent in public areas and those who would like assistance on their private property can request mosquito repellent/granules. The organization can provide assistance while supplies last. For public properties, BCPH is happy to treat areas brought to their attention with available resources.

BCPH cannot treat private property. The owner should treat his own property. BCPH would be happy to provide him with dunks and teach him how to best use them.

BCPH’s Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program runs from April through the end of November. This is the second year of the program and BCPH is currently monitoring 22 sites across Bell County, in urban, suburban and rural areas.

For more information, you can visit the West Nile Department of State Health Services website at txwestnile.org or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov/westnile.

For more information about the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program, you can contact BCPH at 254-532-9800.