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Health

Mosquito In Granger Tests Positive For West Nile Virus, Marking Williamson County's First Case This Year

A mosquito sits on a person's hand.
James Jordan via Flickr

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A mosquito trapped in Williamson County has tested positive for the West Nile virus, county officials said Monday. It's the first case of the 2021 season.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District's Integrated Vector Management program tests samples for mosquito-borne viruses. The agency said it received the positive result from a trap on Monday.

The sample was collected in Granger near North Colorado Street.

This is the earliest occurrence of a positive West Nile sample test since the WCCHD began testing in 2013. Before Monday's announcement, the last positive sample was collected in October last year, officials said.

Last year, Williamson County had 17 positive samples, the highest number recorded. Three people also tested positive for the virus in 2020, officials said.

The mosquito population grows and becomes more active between May and November, though they are present year-round.

“With the recent weeks of heavy rain, dumping any amount of standing water around your home and using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, is highly recommended to keep yourself and your family safe from mosquito-borne illness," Jason Fritz with WCCHD's Integrated Vector Management Program said.

The agency also recommends wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors.

Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, body aches, a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph nodes. People who are 50 years or older and those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk for more severe symptoms like stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis and, in rare cases, death.

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