Fort Worth

Fort Worth Sees Soaring Mosquito Population Carrying West Nile Virus

'This year we’re seeing more positive traps than we saw in the epidemic [of 2012] or 2016' city official says

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Fort Worth is noticing a concerning trend in mosquito traps across the city.

“In 2012, it seems like so long ago, we had an epidemic locally and nationally. Everybody was impacted. We had an uptick in 2016 and now we find ourselves in 2020 and there is a lot of conversation about COVID-19. What we can’t forget about is West Nile Virus,” Fort Worth Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett said. “This year we’re seeing more positive traps than we saw in the epidemic or 2016.”

Bennett said it is a situation worth monitoring with perspective.

“What we’re not seeing however is a higher number of human cases. We’re actually on a trend-line lower than what we typically see,” Bennett said. “We contribute that to a number of things. People are isolating at home. There are not the outdoor festivities. There’s not the outdoor baseball and football games people generally go to.”

“There is just a general overall greater awareness on the part of our population to be safe and to do the things that are needed to do to avoid West Nile Virus, COVID, the flu and anything else that we’re going to face over the next nine months,” Bennett added.

It is thought that the recent rain will help control the mosquito population. While the rain will not wipe out the mosquitoes already carrying the virus, it will help wash away breeding pools.

“We should see some of a reprieve in the next 14 days and then we are right back in the thick of it again,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the West Nile issues usually falls off in October, but could go as late as November.

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