GAINESVILLE — For the first time since Cooke County started testing in 2012, health officials have confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in the local mosquito population. Local officials in Gainesville confirmed the positive test result for a trap on North Howeth Street on the county and city websites and on Facebook late Monday evening.

GAINESVILLE — For the first time since Cooke County started testing in 2012, health officials have confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in the local mosquito population. Local officials in Gainesville confirmed the positive test result for a trap on North Howeth Street on the county and city websites and on Facebook late Monday evening.


In a news release, the city said it will be spraying for mosquitoes on July 29 beginning at 9:30 p.m.


City Manager Barry Sullivan said the city had already scheduled the spray before the tests came in. After the news, Sullivan said the city is working with its contractor to expedite the process but is uncertain if the city can be sprayed earlier.


Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Fletcher said Cooke County has experienced slightly above average mosquito populations this year compared to an average season. While there have been cases of WNV in humans in Cooke County, it has never been confirmed where the disease was contracted.


Sullivan urged residents to drain any standing water on their property as these bodies provide a place for the mosquitoes to breed. For pools and other water sources that cannot be drained, Sullivan said commercial mosquito dunks can be safely used.