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More than 25% of recent tests done in Tarrant County came back positive for West Nile virus

Health officials from Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties report mosquito pools have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
Credit: AP
File- In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Dallas and Tarrant counties are reporting the highest number of mosquito pools testing positive for the West Nile virus in Texas.

Dallas County reported Monday that 23 new pools in the area have tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to health officials. This includes 12 cases in Dallas, 10 in Mesquite and one in Garland.

Nearly 30% of all mosquito pools recently surveilled in Tarrant County tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to Tarrant County Public Health.

The first West Nile virus human case and death of the 2020 season was reported on July 21 when a Fort Worth senior adult died from the virus.

Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties are four of 11 counties in Texas that have had positive cases. Dallas and Tarrant counties have the highest counts, according to state officials.

Health officials say 51 mosquito pools tested positive for the West Nile virus of 183 pools tested July 19-25. This includes 12 cases in Fort Worth, seven in Arlington and six in North Richland Hills.

Health officials have reported 162 mosquito samples from the area testing positive for the West Nile virus since surveillance began on April 1. They have tested a total of 2,215 samples. Fort Worth has the most cases in the area with 38.

Dallas County has had 68 total mosquito samples test positive, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Credit: Tarrant County Public Health
This Tarrant County graph shows the percentage of mosquito pools test positive for the West Nile Virus in 2019 and 2020.

County health officials sprayed in parts of northeast and northwest Tarrant County last week in response to the samples from the areas.

To see where Dallas County health officials have sprayed, click here.

Health officials are asking the public to take protective measures by utilizing the ‘4Ds’ to reduce the risk of West Nile virus:

  • DEET: Whenever outside, use FDA approved insect repellents.
  • Dress: Wear long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing when going outdoors.
  • Drain:  All areas of standing water in or around your home where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
  • Dawn, day and dusk: Limit time outside as mosquitoes will bite at any time.

Most infected people will show no symptoms, according to Dallas County health officials. Symptoms typically develop between three to 14 days after a mosquito bite.

Some of the symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

Residents should dump standing water on their property and use EPA-approved insect repellent and dress in long sleeves and pants.

Denton County has had 14 positive cases and Collin County has had give cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In June, the City of Denton increased its mosquito surveillance and response plan to risk level 3. It was is in response to a sample of mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile virus.