Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile Virus in San Antonio

West Nile Virus is most commonly spread to people through bite of an infected mosquito

SAN ANTONIO – A mosquito pool in San Antonio has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

Lab results from Metro Health confirmed a mosquito pool near Ray Ellison Boulevard and Loop 410 on the southwest side tested positive for the virus on June 22.

The infected sample was collected on June 7, the Metro Health website shows.

Pest control treatment and fogging services will take place next week in the surrounding areas by Metro Health’s Vector Control program, officials said in a press release.

Increased rainfall may result in increased hatching of mosquito eggs.

Metro Health suggests the following safety measures to help cut down on mosquito populations:

  • Remove Standing Water - These actions can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas where people live. After heavy rain, individuals should empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water.
  • Improve Sanitation - When water is contaminated with organic matter (i.e. animal waste, grass, and leaves), the chances that mosquito larvae will survive may increase. Contaminated matter provides food for larvae to eat.
  • Protect Yourself - Using an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on skin not covered by clothing is very important. Safety measures when using repellent include:
    • Spraying insect repellent on clothing (mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing)
    • Insect repellents should not be used on young infants
    • Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to protect exposed skin during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are active
    • Using air conditioning or making sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering an individual’s home

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States and is mostly spread to people from a bite of an infected mosquito.

It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Most people, up to 80%, don’t show signs of infection or develop symptoms of the virus, the CDC website states.

Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

Most people with febrile illness due to West Nile virus recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months, according to the CDC.

“About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord),” CDC officials said.

People over 60 years of age are at greater risk for severe illness. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and those who have received organ transplants are also at greater risk.

There are no vaccines or medications to prevent or treat West Nile Virus.

Future positive West Nile Virus mosquito pools will be updated on Metro Health’s website.

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