Grayson County Health Department screening found another West Nile virus-infected mosquito in Van Alstyne this week.
A statement from the GCHD said the department tested 24 pools and the positive finding was the second this season. The release said the positive WNV pool was once again identified from a trap set at 245 West Van Alstyne Parkway, in Van Alstyne.
“The Environmental Health Division has reached out to Van Alstyne city officials to provide them with further guidance and identify additional trap locations. In the past, several cities within Grayson County have contracted with licensed pest control companies to spray (adulticide), in an effort to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in the impacted area,” the release says.
“The decision to spray is up to each local municipality and the frequency of such spraying is determined collectively between each city and the licensed pest control service. It is advised for residents and business owners surrounding this particular trap location to look for areas on their property that may be holding water. Areas where water remains stagnant for a prolonged period of time could serve as breeding areas for mosquitoes. Once such an area is identified, one can take action to eliminate the stagnant water, which in return would assist in reducing the number of mosquitoes in the immediate area,’ the release continued.
Noble Resources Pest Control, of Fannin County, has spent four nights spraying the city in its entirety to reduce or eliminate the mosquito population. In recent weeks, Grayson County Health Department reportedly found two mosquitos, caught in traps, that were infected with West Nile virus. City Manager Lane Jones contracted with Noble Resources for its spraying service, and they sprayed for two nights in late September and again Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week. Noble Resources began about 9 p.m. each night, waiting until all activities had ceased, including Tuesday night’s National Night Out, the Railcar Farmers Market, and a game played at one of the city parks, then continued the spraying through each night.
There is no vaccine or medications for humans with WNV. “About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms,” the CDC says on its website. “About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.”
Symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. The elderly, very young and those with other conditions that affect the functioning of their immune systems are at greater risk of developing serious complications.
Since Culex mosquitoes are most active from dusk until dawn, people are asked to either limit outdoor activities during this time to fight against WNV, and other mosquito-borne diseases, or be sure to follow the four D’s: Drain — drain standing water; Dress — wear long sleeves and pants; DEET — apply an EPA-approved insect repellent with DEET; Daily — all day every day fight the bite.
Other ways to avoid mosquito bites include staying in air-conditioned areas or if leaving windows and doors open for air circulation purposes, ensure those windows and doors have intact screens in place, repairing any openings that may exist in those screens.
For more information on WNV visit http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/.
Mary Jane Farmer contributed to this staff report.