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Sugar Land, TX News – Fort Bend County Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Sugar Land, TX News (August 1, 2014) - A sampling of mosquitoes in Fort Bend County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. When an area tests positive for the West Nile Virus in a few mosquitoes, it does not always mean there is a high risk of human infection. Simple measures can prevent the spread or infection of the West Nile Virus. Working together with Fort Bend County and the cities in the county, residents can help control the mosquito population.

When an area has mosquito samples that test positive for West Nile Virus, Fort Bend County Road & Bridge or the appropriate city department makes a focused response to prevent mosquito breeding by increasing spraying and larviciding in the area until a sample of mosquitoes tests negative for the virus. Testing is conducted by trapping mosquitoes and submitting the sample to be tested for viruses.

Mosquitoes positive for West Nile Virus does not necessarily lead to human cases of disease. There have been no human cases of West Nile Virus in the county so far this year.

Fort Bend County monitors the type and numbers of mosquitoes present and submits samples for West Nile Virus testing. The County also sprays for nuisance mosquitoes but increases spraying and larviciding in areas where mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services encourages all residents, regardless of their location, to protect themselves and family against mosquito bites, remember the 4D’s: dress in loose light colored clothing to cover legs and arms, use repellent that contains DEET, avoid going outside at dusk and dawn, and drain standing water.

Spraying can only impact the mosquitoes where the spray reaches. Some backyards with high privacy fences can not be sprayed by a spray truck. The best practice to prevent mosquitoes around the home is to drain any standing water (flowerpots, trash cans) and if necessary spray yards with commercial sprays available at most home improvement stores. Together, we can reduce the risk of West Nile Virus in our communities.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that spreads when infected mosquitoes bite humans and other animals. Symptoms include high fever, headaches, neck stiffness, nausea, and vomiting. It is important to note that 80% of people infected will show no symptoms at all, and only 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe symptoms. Severe symptoms include fever, and may include unusually intense headaches or confusion. If these symptoms develop seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms will appear 3-14 days after a person has been bitten by an infected mosquito.

For more information visit www.fortbendcountyhhs.com or call Kaila Thompson at 281-238-3551 or email at kaila.thompson@fortbendcountytx.gov.

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