First West Nile Virus mosquito sample of the year logged in northwest Harris County

Authorities found another sample in Brazos County

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The first mosquito sample with the West Nile Virus has been discovered in Northwest Harris County.

“Our Mosquito and Vector Control Division has more than 50 years of experience serving Harris County and protecting residents from mosquito-borne diseases,” said Chris Fredregill, Director of MCVD. “When mosquito samples are confirmed positive for mosquito-borne disease, our team moves quickly to address and treat the area of concern. We encourage residents to take precautions this mosquito season and reach out to us if they have questions, concerns or are in need expert advice.”

Another mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile in Brazos County, authorities announced Tuesday. The mosquito trap was located in the 77845 zip code of College Station.

As we head into the summer months, Harris County Public Health officials say it’s important to remove any standing water around your home.

People who live in the Willowbrook area say the pesky insects are already causing problems.

“Mosquitoes are annoying because right when you step out of your house they are already biting you,” Megan Sheffield said.

Moses Rodriguez and Megan Sheffield live in Willowbrook and say mosquito’s are a nuisance.

“You can be outside for five minutes and you get bit a hundreds times. It’s really awful,” Rodriguez said.

Only a handful of the 56 species of mosquitoes found in Harris County transmit diseases such as the West Nile Virus, Saint Louis Encephalitis, Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika, according to Harris County health officials. Mosquitoes are present in the county throughout the year but activity peaks during warmer weather, namely between June and October.

“With the rains have fallen very recently we’ve had an uptick in our nuisance mosquito populations,’ Chris Fredregill said.

Chris Fredregill who serves as the Director of Mosquito and Vector Control for Harris County Public Health said mosquitoes are here year round.

“This is the time when their numbers begin to increase and it’s also the time of the year where we really need to focus on our West Nile Virus and mosquito born disease prevention,” he said.

Some residents were shocked to learn that officials identified and collected the county’s first West Nile Virus mosquito sample on the year.

“Well that sounds kind scary sounds like we need to do something about it,” Rodriguez said.

Officials say you can help reduce the problem by removing standing water around your home and wear insect repellent.

“We are all in this together, so you eliminating standing water in your property can help your neighbors,” Chris Fredregill said.

HCPH’s Mosquito and Vector Control Division (MVCD) will treat the affected area in northwest Harris County.

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.