Wichita Falls mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Two pools of mosquitoes from Wichita Falls have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, according to the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District.

The mosquitoes were collected from traps placed by the health district on the south side of Wichita Falls.

Health district officials are encouraging residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Suggestions include the following:

  • Dump/Drain: Be sure to dump or drain and wipe the sides of containers (such as pet bowls, rain barrels, children’s toys or tarps, etc.) that hold water. Mosquitoes start their life cycle in the water and many species lay their eggs above the waterline on the inside of containers, which is why it is important to wipe the sides.
  • Deet: If you are going outside, wear an EPA approved insect repellent, and be sure to follow the label instructions upon application and reapplication. Consult your pediatrician about what age it is appropriate to use an insect repellent on young children and what type they recommend.
  • Dress: Wear long sleeves and long pants if you are going to be outside, especially if you are doing an activity that will stir up mosquitoes resting in the grass such as yard work or outdoor sports.
  • Dusk/Dawn and all Day: Mosquitoes are generally considered most active at dusk and dawn, so try to limit your outdoor activities at those times; however, you should follow proper mosquito precautions any time you are outdoors, no matter what time of day.

“We have worked outward from that area spraying around,” Samantha Blair, Environmental Health Administrator at the Wichita Falls Public Health District, said. “We also moved our testing area out to see whether it is isolated to one area or county wide. The thing with West Nile Virus is since it is carried by mosquitoes that have wings and it is found in birds that are the amplifying host, just because we found it in one area does not mean it is not everywhere.”

The health district’s environmental health division will be continuing its integrated pest management program for mosquito control, which includes testing mosquitoes for the West Nile Virus, treating standing water, eliminating breeding areas and spraying adult mosquitoes when weather conditions are favorable.

The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District has not received any reports of a positive human case of the West Nile Virus during this season. Only some mosquito species in Wichita County are able to spread diseases, while most others are just a nuisance.

You can request a spraying for mosquitoes by contacting the health district’s vector control unit at (940) 761-7890. For more information about the Health District’s mosquito abatement program, call (940) 761-8896 or (940) 761-7822.

For questions about West Nile Virus, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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