As if we didn't have enough to worry about, now there are more instances of West Nile Virus in Wichita Falls.

You may recall a few weeks ago that two pools of mosquitoes in town tested positive for the virus. Now we're told that four more have been added bringing our total to six.

The mosquitoes were collected from traps placed throughout the city as part of the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District's routine mosquito surveillance program and were tested at the Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the bites of some mosquitoes. Locally our West Nile Virus vector mosquito is the Culex quinquefasciatus.

The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District is urging all citizens to take some simple and easy steps to protect themselves and the rest of the city.

Dump / Drain

Mosquitoes prefer stagnant water sources that are high in organic matter. You can help eliminate many breeding grounds by cleaning up your grass clippings so it doesn't make it into water. Other common breeding grounds are clogged gutters, small swimming pools without circulation pumps, and water tanks. Draining the water out and cleaning them from algae growth and mosquito eggs is recommended.

Use Deet

If you're going outside during prime mosquito biting times like early morning or late evening an EPA approved insect repellant is recommended.

Dress Appropriately

Long sleeves and long pants can be great barriers between you and a biting mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are smaller than many of the nuisance mosquitoes and clothing can actually prevent some bites.

Limit Activities Around Dusk and Dawn

Like most mosquitoes, the ones that are known to carry West Nile Virus are generally most active around dusk and dawn, especially when the winds are light. Take a little extra precaution during these times of the day.

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While we're doing these simple things, the Health District's Environmental Health Division will continue its mosquito control program. This includes continued testing, treating standing water, eliminating breeding areas, and spraying for adult mosquitoes when and where it's possible.

While a total of six pools have been identified as containing West Nile Virus bearing mosquitoes no reports of any human cases are known at this time. If you experience flu-like symptoms following a mosquito bite, you are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider.

The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District does have some free mosquito larvicide available for citizens, call them at 940-761-8896 for more information.

To learn more about West Nile Virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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