Public Notification of the Detection of Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus in Mosquitos

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The Corpus Christi Vector Control program is notifying the public of the detection of Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus in a mosquito pool collected and analyzed from the 400 block of Bartlett Street. Vector Control deploys traps throughout the city to monitor mosquito populations. Mosquitos are trapped and sent to the Department of State Health Services laboratory in Austin, Texas where molecular identification is performed for any Vector Borne diseases. The trapping of mosquitos and the identification of viral diseases carried by mosquitos allows for rapid mobilization of resources to reduce the spread into humans. At this time, only one positive mosquito pool has been identified. No cases have been reported in humans at this time.

SLE is a viral disease spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The last case of a positive a mosquito with SLE in Nueces County was reported in 2016.  Most people infected with SLE virus have no apparent illness. Initial symptoms of those who become ill include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Severe neuro-invasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults.

To mitigate and reduce the possible spread of SLE into humans, Vector Services has implemented the Mosquito Management Response Plan and is taking the following preventative measure:

  1. Spray within a 1/2-mile radius around the area of the detection for three consecutive nights beginning Tuesday evening, weather permitting.
  2. Police will Direct Patrol Officers and Neighborhood Services personnel to locate any standing water in the affected neighborhood including examining abandoned properties.
  3. Vector Services will continue to monitor and conduct surveillance of mosquito traps in the immediate area for signs of the Culex species of mosquito.

To prevent SLE infection, the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District recommends 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.

Please call the call center at 361-826-2489 if you wish to report abandoned property or high grass or standing water.