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Bioscience-Medicine

Mosquito Sample Collected In Bexar County Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

A close-up of a mosquito on someone's skin.
Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/2UTuoSY

County officials reported Friday that a pool of mosquitoes collected by one of its monitoring stations in Northeast Bexar County has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The sample was collected in the area of Ferrysage Drive and FM 78.

The Bexar County Office of Emergency Management went door-to-door to get the word out to residents this morning, with assistance from the Bexar County Emergency Services District 11.

Residents in unincorporated areas of the county, where mosquitoes often have more breeding habitat, can report heavy concentrations of mosquitoes to the county public works service center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the West Nile Virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States.

Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.

Most people who get infected do not get sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department has tips on preventing mosquitoes including:

Remove standing water

Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as:

  • Vases
  • Pet water bowls
  • Flowerpot saucers
  • Discarded tires
  • Buckets
  • Pool covers
  • Birdbaths
  • Trash cans
  • Rain barrels

These actions can help reduce the number of mosquitoes around areas where people live.

Follow safe water storage tips

If water must be stored, tightly cover storage containers to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside and laying eggs.

Improve sanitation

When water is contaminated with organic matter (for example, animal waste, grasses, and leaves), the chances that mosquito larvae will survive may increase because contaminated matter provides food for larvae to eat.

Protect Yourself

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to protect exposed skin during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are active.
  • Avoid use of perfumes and colognes when working outdoors.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on skin not covered by clothing.
  • Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be exposed. The more DEET or Picaridin a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you.
  • Spray insect repellent on the outside of your clothing (mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing).
  • Do not spray insect repellent on skin that is under clothing.
  • Insect repellents should not be used on young infants.
  • Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas or directly on your face. Do not allow insect repellent to contact your eyes or mouth. Do not use repellents on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • If working outdoors, use soap and water to wash skin and clothing that has been treated with insect repellent.

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