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Corpus Christi Vector Control discovers 2nd mosquito pool with SLE virus

Posted at 9:17 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 22:20:15-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Vector control workers have detected the Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus in a second mosquito pool locally.

The first one was collected in the Saxet neighborhood mid-August, within seven miles from the second infected mosquito pool at the 1200 block of Main Drive.

According to the Center for Disease Control, SLE is a viral disease that can spread to people via mosquito bite. Most people who get SLE show no signs of illness but some possible symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. It can become severe for some people.

"Severe neuroinvasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults," the CDC states on their website. "In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result."

There are no vaccines or medications to treat SLE.

In a news release sent out by the city of Corpus Christi late Aug. 17, the city stated no human cases have been reported locally.

Corpus Christi Vector Control workers deploy traps throughout the city to monitor mosquito populations.

Mosquitoes from those traps are then sent to the Department of State Health Services for testing of various diseases.

“As soon as we have the notification, we take the preventative measures that we did today. For any area in the city if we got a positive that came back,” said Joel Skidmore, program operation manager for the city of Corpus Christi's Vector Control department. “We have control measures that are in place for exactly this type of circumstance.”

After detecting the viral disease, vector control employees spray within a half-mile radius for the next three nights. Skidmore said they started that process Tuesday evening.

The last case of a positive mosquito with SLE in Nueces County was reported in 2016.

Skidmore said, even amid a pandemic involving a different kind of virus, it's important to take precautions for both of those living within the area.

"Take this serious," he said. "Be aware that the city takes it serious. Animal Care, Vector Control takes it very serious and we’re doing what we can immediately to keep the community safe.”

In the release, the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District recommended following the "5 D's of defense."

  • DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET.
  • DRESS – Dress in long sleeves and pants when you are outside.
  • DAWN, DAYTIME and DUSK – Avoid being outside during these times of day to prevent bites. Dawn, daytime and dusk are the times of day when mosquitoes are most active.
  • DRAIN – Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
  • DOCTOR – Consult a physician if you feel sick after being bitten.

To report abandoned property, high grass or standing water, call (361) 826-2489.

Find more information about SLE check the CDC's website.

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