West Nile virus cases slowing down, but vigilance still needed
Published on October 08, 2020
West Nile virus activities in the mosquito population are currently trending down, as expected once cooler temperatures move in. Still, residents are urged to continue taking steps to avoid infections.
Fort Worth’s Code Compliance-Consumer Health Division was notified this week that no mosquito samples submitted to the Tarrant County laboratory tested positive for West Nile virus. As a result, no ground spraying missions are scheduled for this week.
Fort Worth recorded 131 positive mosquito samples for the season. The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth monitors the West Nile virus as part of a continuing collaboration with the City of Fort Worth.
Tips to protect against West Nile virus
- Avoid being outdoors for extended periods of time between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., when mosquito activity is highest.
- Cover arms and legs while outside, and spray DEET insect repellant on shirts and clothing before you head outdoors. For added protection of children, spray insect repellant on your own hands first and then rub products onto children’s skin and/or clothing.
- Eliminate standing water in yards and neighborhoods.
- Be aware that mosquitoes thrive in lush, leafy, high-vegetation areas, even those that are well maintained. Trees, flowers, watered lawns and back yards all can attract mosquitoes.
- Keep lighting to a minimum if outside at night to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
- Citronella candles are safe to use but not always effective in preventing mosquito bites.
- The elderly and those with weakened immune systems should use caution, as they can be particularly susceptible to the West Nile virus.