HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health officials confirmed on Wednesday that a mosquito tested positive for West Nile virus near Memorial Park.
It was the first positive WNV test of the mosquito season, typically June to October. Last year, more than 300 mosquitoes tested positive for the illness at that time, and one person died.
What they're saying
“That’s why I’m about to leave,” said one runner at Memorial Park when she learned about the positive test. “I do not want to be outside.”
Four out of five people who contract WNV will never develop symptoms, the CDC said. They’ll never know they had it.
Some others get fevers and aches, including a stiff neck; and one in 150 people who contract WNV will develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness, according to the CDC.
Who's at risk?
The most at-risk populations are children, people over 60, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses, local health officials said.
To prevent getting bitten by an infected mosquito, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and remove standing water, officials added.
Public health officials will spray the area soon, in the 77007 ZIP code.
Montgomery County Health officials sprayed for mosquitoes in May after one tested positive for WNV in Spring.
“WNV is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States,” the CDC says. “There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.”