Mosquito trapping going on in JWC, tests negative so far

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

No West Nile virus was found in mosquito samples sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services by Jim Wells County, vector officials said.

The mosquitoes were collected on a small, wooded creek bed at County Road 336 and on Roosevelt Drive within the city of Alice. The results, which came back negative for arbovirus, were received on June 26.

JWC vector officials conducted another round of surveillance earlier this week, on County Roads 342 and 381 and sent their samples to Austin.

Wedensday morning, officials were out once again, running mosquito surveillance at the Jim Wells County Courthouse and the county fairgrounds.

Samples collected today were also sent off to DSHS labs in Austin for testing, which takes anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the number of samples they receive from across the state.

JWC Health and Safety officer Florentino Rivera said that because of water releases from the Choke Canyon and Lake Corpus Christi dams, water levels have risen all across South Texas.

The water levels, along with increased rains, have provided a breeding ground for mosquitoes in our area.

The county implemented a larvacide plan for flood prone areas such as Rancho Alegre last month, after heavy rains caused large pools to collect in the roadways and creeks along that area.

Running water, Rivera said, still noticeable in the area, prevents larvacide from being used. The agent is ineffective in running water, working best on the mosquito larvae that arise from stagnant pools of water. As long as the water is running, mosquitoes cannot breed there.

After three days of stationary water, residents can expect the mosquitoes to return.

As part of their preparations for that eventuality, county vector officials will meet today to discuss what will be done to curb mosquito populations in Jim Wells County.