Follow-up test results negative for West Nile Virus
Mosquito monitoring and testing continues; everyone encouraged to follow the 3 Ds of mosquito safety
The Williamson County and Cities Health District and City of Cedar Park have now had two consecutive weeks of negative test results for West Nile Virus in new mosquito samples taken from expanded trap locations. This means that mosquito trapping will continue as usual, according to the Health District’s Best Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management. However, the City and Health District strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property – especially in light of recent rainfall.
This enhanced trapping and testing over the past two weeks is due to one sample from one location that tested positive for West Nile Virus. This sample was collected near the intersection of Cypress Creek Road and Sun Chase Boulevard. That result was returned from Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin the week of October 2.
For the two weeks that followed, the Health District collected two additional rounds of samples from ten trap locations in Cedar Park – including the site of the positive result, four other traps within about a mile of that site, plus samples taken from five other trap locations throughout Cedar Park. All samples were negative for West Nile Virus.
The testing of mosquitoes is part of the City of Cedar Park’s proactive participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s mosquito management program. The species that originally tested positive is Culex quinquefasciatus (southern house mosquito). It has a flight range of about one mile.
There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Cedar Park. Williamson County has seen no confirmed human cases since last fall. Additionally, the Health District reports no positive West Nile Virus results in Williamson County at this time. West Nile Virus should not be confused with other mosquito-borne viruses. For more information about West Nile Virus visit www.wcchd.org or www.txwestnile.org.
The City is following the Health District’s Best Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management which, at this time, call for enhanced monitoring and testing, along with increased public outreach and education. The City of Cedar Park is prepared to take additional action if necessary.
Due to continued mosquito activity until the first hard freeze of the upcoming winter season, the City and Health District are encouraging everyone to be especially vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites when outdoors – and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property.
What you can do
Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus. As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 3 Ds of mosquito safety.
- Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,
- Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, and
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
The City’s Parks and Recreation Department uses bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) larvicide tablets on public property (such as parks) to treat any standing water that cannot be drained. Bt is a naturally-occurring bacteria that is harmless to people and most pets but it interrupts the reproduction cycle of mosquitoes. You can find Bt for home use at most “big box” hardware retailers.
In addition, the City’s Code Enforcement Division is focusing its efforts on mosquito abatement throughout the community. If you are aware of a location of stagnant water on public or private property, please report it to the City’s Code Enforcement Division via www.cedarparktexas.gov/ReportaProblem, the CPConnect app on your mobile device or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on mosquito safety, please visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s website at http://www.wcchd.org/services/disease_mgmt/fight_the_bite_-_williamson_county/index.php.