The city of Abilene reported Wednesday mosquitoes trapped in North Abilene tested positive for West Nile virus. The mosquitoes are the first since 2008 to test positive in Abilene.
Early Thursday morning, city employees sprayed repellant in the area where the mosquitoes were trapped.
Several people in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area have recently been infected and some have even died.
Doctor Zane Travis with the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District said no locals have recently been affected but the virus is still a cause for concern.
"We're on the watch," he said. "We have not had a case reported in Abilene but there have been several in the metroplex so we suspect we're going to be seeing some."
Travis said people should not take the West Nile virus lightly and should be familiar with its symptoms.
"You may not know that you were stung by the mosquito, but you develop flu like symptoms like a headache, fever, sore throat, sometimes confusion. Sometimes upset stomach and dehydration," Travis said.
The virus can also cause a brain infection called encephalitis and can even prove fatal.
Travis said Abilene saw a West Nile epidemic in 2004. Though only two cases were confirmed, he said expensive lab work forced many people to forgo testing. He estimated the actual number of cases was closer to 100 in 2004.
"Many people developed West Nile then," he said. "We had them use mosquito repellant--now that's very important when you have to be out. We should start that now."
The city of Abilene recommends repellants that contain DEET, Picardin or lemon eucalyptus oil.
He said antibiotics do not work against the virus and many people have to be hospitalized for close supervision.
Most people can overcome the virus, but those with weakened immune systems may not be able to.
"Drain any standing water. And the standing creek in your backyard that you can't drain, go ahead and add a little chlorine to it," Travis recommended.
Though mosquitoes carry the virus, they get it from birds. It's important to keep an eye out for dead birds around your home.