Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) laboratory confirmed mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus.
These are the first positive samples to be confirmed this year. The mosquito traps were collected from the 75080 zip code of Richardson.
WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis. Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV.
"Mosquito season is here. We want the residents of Dallas County to know to expect more positive traps this season and to therefore remember the 4 Ds." said Dr. Philip Huang, DCHHS Director.
The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites.
Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:
DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other EPA-registered repellents and follow label instructions.
Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
All Day long: Limit outdoor activities all day long as mosquitoes can bite anytime of the day.
Standing water can be treated with EPA-registered lavaicide that are available for retail purchase. Larvicides are products used to kill immature mosquitoes before they become adults.
Larvicides are applied directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae or pupae. When used correctly, larvicides can help reduce the overall mosquito burden by limiting the number of mosquitoes that are produced, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).