After weeks of heavy rain earlier in the season, officials with the Grayson County Health Department are asking residents to take precautions to keep the mosquito population in check this summer. So far this year, the GCHD has reported no positive samples of West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease, in the local mosquito population.

After weeks of heavy rain earlier in the season, officials with the Grayson County Health Department are asking residents to take precautions to keep the mosquito population in check this summer. So far this year, the GCHD has reported no positive samples of West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease, in the local mosquito population.


While it has been nearly a year since the health department found a positive sample of the disease, Katy Osbourn, who works with the department, said officials are expecting a noticeably higher population of mosquitoes this year.


"Our numbers are starting to gradually increase with the rain we’ve gotten," Osbourn said. It takes about a week for the mosquito larva to mature into adulthood.


All of the most recent samples, taken on July 2, have tested negative for the disease, which can appear from May through November. Osbourn said new samples were taken this week, and the department expects to have results back sometime in the middle of next week.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tests among local mosquito populations in Denton and Collin counties have returned positive results for the virus. The city of Frisco planned to spray for the insects over the weekend after a mosquito pool in the city tested positive for the disease, according to The Dallas Morning News.


In 2014, a total of 527 traps were set throughout Grayson County. In that time, 17 tests returned positive results, said GCHD Director Amanda Ortez in a news release issued on June 5.


"Once a positive pool is identified, our Environments Health West Nile virus team members notify city officials and work with them to address the issue," Ortez said, noting that no local human cases of the disease were confirmed last year. "We encourage city officials and individuals throughout Grayson County to be proactive and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their family members and neighbors against WNV."


Osbourn said many people who are infected with the disease by a mosquito do not realize it. Osbourn said the disease carries flu-like symptoms, including headaches fever and body aches. In rare situations, the disease can be more severe and at times fatal.


"We always recommend if they start seeing symptoms like that to see their doctor," Osbourn said. Severe reactions occur in about 1 percent of cases, Osbourn said.