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Travis County Has First West Nile Case In Texas This Season

Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 03:57 PM CDT

The first West Nile case of the 2014 season in Texas has popped up in Travis County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed the mosquito-borne illness Thursday afternoon and is urging people to take precautions to reduce the risk.

"The best way to protect yourself is by using insect repellent every time you go outside," said Tom Sidwa, State Public Health Veterinarian and manager of the Zoonosis Control Branch. "West Nile virus can make people very sick, with symptoms that can last for weeks or months." 

The patient contracted West Nile fever.  Health officials are not releasing the person's identity.

Symptoms of the milder form of illness, West Nile fever, can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue.  People with West Nile fever typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks.

The West Nile season typically runs from June through October.  Last year, there were 183 human cases of West Nile illness in Texas, including 14 deaths.

More advice for protection from West Nile from the DSHS:

- Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Among the EPA-approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-methane-diol products.
- Regularly drain standing water, including water collecting in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus breed in stagnant water.
- Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. 
- Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.

Travis County Has First West Nile Case In Texas This Season

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