The Bell County Public Health District just issued a press release stating that a mosquito sample collected from a Temple residential neighborhood returned positive for the West Nile Virus. While all mosquitoes are not carrying the virus, the data suggests at least some of the Culex mosquito population is carrying the virus.

The exact location of the sample containing West Nile was in an area east of I-35 and west of 31st street according to the press release. Temple has not had any reported cases of West Nile according to Bell County Public Health District, but it also states that many cases may go unreported as healthy young adults often do not experience symptoms of the virus. More often then not, it is the older population and very young children who are more at-risk.

The following are symptoms of West Nile:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Rash near the bite
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue that can last for weeks

Severe symptoms include:

  • Stiff neck
  • High fever
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Paralysis

Bell County Public Health District reminds residents to be vigilant when it comes to mosquito bite prevention for you and your family. You can minimize risk by following the '4 Ds":

  1. Drain standing water - flower pots, pet dishes, clogged gutters (mosquitoes need standing water to breed)
  2. Defend by using approved insect repellent
  3. Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors
  4. Dusk and Dawn - Culex mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn

The last reported claim of West Nile was earlier this month when a man died in McLennan County. 

Five West Nile cases have been confirmed in that county so far this year.