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One sampling of mosquitoes tests positive for West Nile Virus

Enhanced monitoring and testing being conducted, everyone encouraged to follow the 3 Ds of mosquito safety

Post Date:10/03/2017 10:30 a.m.

Example of culex mosquito 

 

One sampling of mosquitoes collected from a trap location in Cedar Park has tested positive for West Nile Virus.  This testing is part of the City of Cedar Park’s proactive participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s mosquito management program.  The positive test was indicated in a lab result from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.  

There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Cedar Park.  Williamson County has seen no reported human cases since last fall.  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 Health District has six traps at various locations throughout Cedar Park.  The species that tested positive is Culex quinquefasciatus (southern house mosquito).  It was collected in southwest Cedar Park, near the intersection of Cypress Creek Road and Sun Chase Boulevard.  This species has a flight range of about one mile. 

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. 

Especially in light of the positive test sample’s proximity to outdoor activity at Elizabeth Milburn Park and in several nearby neighborhoods, 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 code@cedarparktexas.gov.     

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.