MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Officials confirmed a case of West Nile virus has been found in The Woodlands' first mosquito samples of the 2022 season.
The mosquitos were caught through the course of the week in zip codes 77380 and 77382.
According to city officials, treatment of the affected areas will begin Tuesday, including spraying all streets and county rights of way. The second round of treatment is scheduled for Thursday.
"Our office is working diligently to minimize the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness," Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said.
Residents can check the treatment activity map to learn when spraying will occur in their neighborhoods.
Residents should avoid outdoor activity during the scheduled treatment hours. It also is recommended that residents take personal protective measures, such as wearing insect repellent and dressing in long, light, loose clothing whenever outdoors.
"The one thing that all mosquitoes require for reproduction is a source of water. Be sure to turn over or remove anything from your yard that can hold water," Mosquito Abatement Director Justin Fausek said. "If you have areas where you can't get rid of the water, such as a birdbath or meter box, you can treat it with a larvicide containing BTI instead."
There are no medications or vaccines to treat or prevent a West Nile virus infection. The city said symptoms of the virus may include a stiff neck, vision problems, body tremors, mental confusion, memory loss and seizures. Officials said symptoms of the milder form of the illness, known as the West Nile fever, may include fever, headache, muscle and bone aches, nausea and drowsiness.
"When viruses like West Nile or Zika are detected, our team moves quickly to treat the affected area to prevent further spread," MVCD Director Chris Fredregill said. "While our Mosquito and Vector Control Division provides disease surveillance throughout Harris County, we also encourage residents to do their part by following a few simple and effective steps around their homes to prevent mosquito breeding."
Meanwhile, the Texas Department of State Health Services recommends practicing the "Four Ds:"
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flower pots and clogged rain gutters.