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Williamson Co. seeing early mosquito season

Tthe Williamson County Health Department says it will start putting out mosquito traps and testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus in May. (KEYE TV)

The combination of wet weather and a warm winter could mean a major mosquito problem in Central Texas.

The mosquito season started about a month early this year. And the Williamson County Health Department says it will start putting out mosquito traps and testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus in May.

Catherine Zettel Nalen, the medical entomologist for Williamson County, says it arrived a month early due to a warm winter and recent wet weather. She says, "The last time we saw this was in 2012 when we had the major West Nile outbreak in Texas, and this winter mimicked 2012 really closely."

In 2012, Williamson County saw 27 human cases of West Nile virus and one death. In Travis county 153 cases were reported and six people died.

More mosquitoes means a greater risk for the West Nile virus. "Although Zika virus has been in the news and is very scary people need to remember that West Nile is still a major threat in Central Texas," says Zettel Nalen.

And predicted storms coming to Texas in a few days could make for prime mosquito breeding conditions.

"We're really encouraging people to look around now before the rain gets here, cover anything that can hold water or flip it over if you can't remove it, if there's anything like tires or debris in the middle yard, poke holes or drill holes so all the rain that does come will drain out," says Zettel Nalen.


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