On August 11, 2015 the Garland Health Department (GHD) confirmed the first case of imported Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Garland in 2015. The individual was infected with the virus during recent travel to Mexico and is no longer contagious. CHIKV is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever, severe joint pain, headache, muscle pain and rash. CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling. There is no specific medication or vaccine available to treat CHIKV. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent CHIKV.
GHD also received a report of laboratory confirmed presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitos collected in the 2500 block of Wood Drive and the 4300 block of O'Banion Road. Twelve mosquito pools have tested positive for the presence of WNV in 2015. The presence of WNV in mosquitoes means that transmission to humans is possible, so residents are urged to take preventive measures. GHD will immediately initiate adulticide spraying in these areas (weather permitting) to minimize the risk of human infection. Citizens may view a map depicting areas where WNV virus has been detected and subsequently sprayed to reduce the adult mosquito population on the City of Garland WNV webpage.
GHD encourages citizens to take preventative measures to minimize the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases such as CHIKV and WNV. To protect yourself from exposure to such diseases, limit outdoor activity during evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are most active. While outdoors, wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing, and use an insect repellent containing DEET, according to its label directions. Most importantly, citizens should take measures to eliminate any standing water on their property, such as birdbaths (clean them twice per week), pet water dishes, clogged rain gutters, tires, and buckets. Containers that can hold an inch or two of water for just a few days can breed mosquitoes. Report any standing water that you are not able to eliminate yourself to the GHD.
If you have questions or would like to report standing water, please call the Garland Health Department's mosquito control hotline at 972-205-3720. Further questions on WNV should be directed to the City of Garland's website, GarlandTX.gov, the eAssist app, or 972-205-3460.