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Bell County Health District study shows West Nile Virus was found in the area last year

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Posted at 12:56 PM, Mar 08, 2024

TEMPLE, Texas — Mosquitos are found everywhere but often go unseen — feeding from blood from both animals and humans.

A county wide mosquito surveillance program done for the first time by the bell county health department in 2023 using ten traps to see what viruses’ mosquitos in our area carry.

“That was West Nile Virus, and it was consistently in our traps. Almost every trap that we sent to the lab last year had the West Nile Virus present,” said Amy Yeager, District Director.

The culex mosquitos carry this virus, at this time there are no vaccines established for extra protection.

The Bell County Health Department advises you to defend by using mosquito spray, dress in loose light-colored clothing and because mosquitos lay their larvae eggs in standing still water you want to drain water pots and gutters during the season from late April to late November.

“The mosquitos are most active at the dawn and dusk time of day," Yeager said.

As citizens prepare to come outside this spring some mothers are practicing the use defense of their children.

“We tend to get hives and bruises from mosquito bites so definitely looking for a natural alternative,” said Bell County resident, Jasri Villarreal

With everyday play time outside some say it’s best to let life and nature run its natural course.

“I just feel like mosquitos are a normal thing of childhood and adult hood and i don’t see a reason to protect her or myself," said Bell County Resident, Jami Tillman.

And the crane fly, commonly known as the mosquito hawk flying in and around your home and playing with your pets, according to BCHD does not eat mosquitos they survive from plant fibers.

Officials say symptoms of the West Nile Virus includes:

Abdominal pain, fever, headache, and sore throat, lack of appetite, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.

All very similar to the flu, if you have been recently bitten and develop any of these symptoms you should tell your doctor.