THE WOODLANDS (July 23, 2014) – The Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus July 22. The 60-year-old South Montgomery County man is one of six reported cases of West Nile according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
In an effort to control the spread of the disease, Montgomery County Precinct 3 has a proactive and comprehensive program in place. The mosquito abatement program helps protect the public’s health while remaining cost effective and environmentally safe.
“We get to work trapping and testing mosquitoes for disease in May, which is earlier than pretty much anywhere else,” Justin Fauset, Montgomery County Precinct 3 facility coordinator, said. “We aim to reduce the bugs at every stage of development by eliminating breeding grounds, killing larvae and spraying areas with heavy adult mosquito populations.”
Just like any disease, mosquitos will become immune to a certain formulation of chemicals if the treatment does not change. To keep ahead of this, Precinct 3 rotates the chemicals they use when spraying storm drains, catch basins, driveway culverts and streets for adult mosquitos.
To date, several mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in South County with the majority of the positive tests in The Woodlands Township. Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack says there are several steps residents can take to help control the mosquito population.
“Doing things like getting rid of standing water on and around your property, such as in tires or birdbaths, will help tremendously,” said Noack. “Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so making sure there is less of it will reduce the number of breeding sites. Also, applying insect repellent containing DEET, wearing long-sleeves and pants when possible and limiting outside time between dusk to dawn as this is peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes.”
Those with weakened immune systems, the very young and those more than 50 years of age are most at risk for contracting West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus symptoms usually appear five to 15 days from the time a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms are flu-like with a moderate to high fever, headache, muscle weakness, fatigue and nausea. Severe signs include seizures, paralysis and respiratory symptoms.
For more information about Montgomery County Precinct 3 mosquito abatement program and the different steps residents can take to protect themselves, visit www.precinct3.org.