Parks

Posted on: November 9, 2017

West Nile Virus tests are positive in Robinson Park

Spray area map-overnighthours - Taylor

Trapped mosquitoes collected from a sampling location in Taylor at Robinson Park, 206 S. Dolan St., have tested positive for West Nile Virus. This testing is part of the City of Taylor’s proactive participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s mosquito management program. The sample was taken on Monday, November 7, and the positive test was indicated in a lab result from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin. Results were reported to city officials on Thursday, November 9, who are undertaking efforts to rid the location of any infected mosquitoes.


The species that tested positive at Robinson Park is Culex quinquefasciatus (southern house mosquito), which has a flight range of about one mile. The Health District sets traps at two locations in Taylor; the northern trap results remain negative. This is the first time Taylor has had positive test results from the traps which have been in place and tested weekly since Monday, May 1, 2017. There are no reported cases of WNV in humans in the Taylor area.


The City of Taylor is following the Health District’s Best Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management, which include:

  • truck-mounted fogging / spraying
  • enhanced monitoring and testing
  • increased public outreach and education

Enhanced mosquito control efforts will also continue with the treatment of standing water at Robinson Park with larvacide.


A pesticide contractor is scheduled to spray in the vicinity. Truck-mounted spraying is planned for three consecutive nights beginning Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 15, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the impacted area, including Robinson Park, weather permitting. A map is included showing the area where application of the pesticide is planned. Although the mosquito control product poses no significant health risk, people and pets may want to stay indoors during the three evenings when spraying work is done.


The City and Health District encourage everyone to be especially vigilant about protecting themselves from mosquito bites when outdoors, and preventing mosquito breeding on their personal property. Recent rain and continued fluctuating temperatures are prime breeding conditions for mosquitoes, which continue to breed until temperatures consistently drop below 50 degrees.

 

West Nile Virus should not be confused with other mosquito-borne viruses. WNV is carried by infected birds that migrate across Central Texas in October and November. The virus is transferred to mosquitoes when they bite infected birds. Humans and horses are especially susceptible to WNV, whereas dogs, cats and other animals are not. WNV cannot be spread from one person to another by casual contact, such as touching or kissing.


What you can do

Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. The most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus are to eliminate places where mosquitoes can breed, and to reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites. As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 4 Ds of mosquito safety.

  • Dusk is the most dangerous time to be outdoors, which is prime feeding time for mosquitoes
  • Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,
  • Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, especially at dusk and dawn
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

Other protective measures include repairing any torn screens on windows or doors. The public is asked to report any dead birds to local authorities, as they can be a sign that WNV is circulating between birds and mosquitoes in a particular area, though all infected birds will not die, nor is WNV the only way a bird can die. Remember to not touch a dead bird with bare hands.


 For more information on mosquito prevention methods or about West Nile Virus visit www.wcchd.org or www.txwestnile.org.

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