A sampling of mosquitoes collected from a trap location in Cedar Park tested positive for West Nile Virus, officials said.
There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Cedar Park. Williamson County has seen no reported human cases since fall 2016. Most cases of West Nile don’t show symptoms or have only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some cases can be deadly.
The Williamson County and Cities Health District has six traps at various locations throughout Cedar Park. The species that tested positive is Culex quinquefasciatus, the southern house mosquito.
The sample was collected in southwest Cedar Park, near the intersection of Cypress Creek Road and Sun Chase Boulevard, not far from Elizabeth Milburn Park and several nearby neighborhoods. The species has a flight range of about one mile.
City officials are following the health district’s best practices for Integrated Mosquito Management, which call for enhanced monitoring and testing, along with increased public outreach and education, according to a press release.
“The City of Cedar Park is prepared to take additional action if necessary,” said Jennie Huerta, city spokesperson.
In light of the positive test sample’s proximity to outdoor activity at Elizabeth Milburn Park and in several nearby neighborhoods, parks crews are putting up signs in the proximity of where the positive test results were found warning about mosquito safety.
“There’s no such thing as a safe mosquito bite, it’s always a risk,” Huerta said.
The City’s Parks and Recreation Department uses bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) larvicide tablets on public property (such as parks) to treat any standing water that cannot be drained. Bt is a naturally-occurring bacteria that is harmless to people and most pets but it interrupts the reproduction cycle of mosquitoes.
“Draining water will be key to keeping mosquito populations down,” Huerta said. “If they can drain it, we encourage them to treat it with Bt.”
In addition, the City’s Code Enforcement Division is focusing its efforts on mosquito abatement throughout the community.
The city asks if citizens are aware of a location of stagnant water on public or private property, to report it to the City’s Code Enforcement Division via www.cedarparktexas.gov/ReportaProblem, or the CPConnect app or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.