The City of Portland is notifying residents of a West Nile Virus-positive mosquito trapped on the 800 block of Houston Street. The virus-positive mosquito was trapped and sent for testing on November 8, 2022. The City of Portland received the results of that collection today, November 14. As a result, the City of Portland has entered Risk Level 3 – Public Health Warning of the Mosquito Surveillance and Response Plan.
West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitos. The virus is transferred to people when bit by an infected mosquito. Currently, there are no reported human cases of the West Nile Virus in Portland.
Infected individuals with West Nile Virus may experience fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally a skin rash on the body and swollen lymph nodes. Severe symptoms of West Nile Virus infection may affect the brain’s spinal cord. If you experience these symptoms, please seek medical attention.
The City of Portland’s Mosquito Surveillance and Response program places mosquito collection traps strategically throughout the city limits to monitor mosquito populations. In 2022, City of Portland has deployed and collected 108 traps, and tested approximately 700 mosquitoes, all with negative results, prior to November 8.
As a result of the West Nile-positive mosquito, the City of Portland is implementing Level 3 of the Response Plan. This includes:
- Spraying targeted ground-based insecticides in a ½ mile radius of the detection area for 2 consecutive nights as soon as weather conditions allow.
- Heavily treating the surrounding area with mosquito larvicides.
- Continue conducting routine surveys of adult mosquitoes, which will be identified to species level and screened for the presence of viruses.
Portland’s Mosquito Control Team urges residents, especially for the elderly and young children, to apply the following personal protective measures:
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Spray clothing with repellents containing picaridin, permethrin, or DEET. (Please follow manufacturer’s instructions on the label).
- Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.
- Avoid contact with the insecticides sprayed from Mosquito Control’s vehicles. Spraying will be done in the evening to early morning hours to minimize contact.
The City of Portland also ask residents to make special efforts to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas within their yards and within their neighborhoods. These efforts include:
- Eliminating any standing water that collects on your property. For example, tires, cans, flowerpot saucers, or anything else that holds water.
- Making sure gutters drain properly and cleaning gutters regularly.
- Changing the water in birdbaths at least every three days.
- Using BTI briquettes or similar larvicides in standing water.
Additional information concerning mosquito-borne disease prevention can be found at the Texas Department of Health Services website at: https://dshs.texas.gov/texasmosquitos/. For more information about the City of Portland’s mosquito control efforts, please visit http://portlandtx.gov/247/Mosquito-Control.