West Nile Virus
- 2 More West Nile Deaths Confirmed In Travis County
- Texas State Fair Operators Hoping To Keep West Nile Away
- Central Texas Man Can't Walk After West Nile Infection
- Should You be Worried about West Nile?
- North Texan At Least 55th Texas West Nile Death
- El Paso Woman At Least 54th Texas West Nile Death
- Health Officials Expect Fewer Cases Of West Nile After Rains
- Another West Nile Death Reported In North Texas
- CDC: Nation On Track For Deadliest West Nile Year
- 2 More West Nile Deaths Reported In North Texas
- Different Approaches to Handling West Nile Threat in Central Texas
- Special West Nile Broadcast
- Georgetown Spraying Pesticide To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay
- 3rd West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County
- Questions Remain For Austin West Nile Spraying
- West Nile Found Across Austin
- Advice For Clearing Mosquitoes, Avoiding West Nile Virus
- Mosquito Relief For Central Texas Still Months Away
- Breaking Down West Nile Virus Risk
- El Paso Reports West Nile Death, TX Death Toll Climbs To 44
- West Nile Worriers Crowd ER's
- Worst Year Ever For West Nile In Texas
- Substantial Percentage Of West Nile Cases Being Confirmed by Blood Banks
- 2nd West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County
- Officials Report 36th Texas West Nile death
- Texas West Nile Cases More Than Double In 2 Weeks
- 2 More Texas West Nile Fever Deaths Reported
- 2 More West Nile Fever Deaths Reported In Texas
- 4 More West Nile Deaths Reported In Texas
- Pesticide Alternatives To Ward Off Mosquitoes
- Researchers Make Progress on West Nile Vaccine
- Dallas Area West Nile Virus Spraying Interrupted
- Williamson County, Like Texas, Having Unusually Bad Year For West Nile
- West Nile Death Confirmed In Williamson County
- Dallas-Area Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Starts Thursday Night
- Dallas Signs Up For Aerial Spraying Over West Nile Virus
- West Nile Virus Changing Behaviors
- 17 Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In Travis County
- How Many West Nile Cases Warrant Mosquito Spraying in Austin?
- 2 Diagnosed With West Nile Virus In Williamson County, 2 in Hays County
- Texas Seeing Bulk Of West Nile Cases
Should You be Worried about West Nile?
Updated: Thursday, September 20 2012, 10:21 AM CDT
The latest West Nile count in Austin and Travis County: 78 batches of mosquitoes in 20 different zip codes have been identified as West Nile carriers. 18 human cases have been reported, including one fatality.
A rash of recent cases here and in North Texas has created something of a public health scare. But people who follow West Nile closely say in many cases, it’s nothing to get too worried about.
“Probably 80 percent of people who get infected have no symptoms at all,” says Dr. Phil Huang, who oversees the fight against the virus, and the mosquitoes who carry it, in Austin and Travis County.
Dr. Huang says most of the remaining 20 percent of people infected with West Nile develop mild symptoms like fever, headache, rash, or swollen lymph glands. But Dr. Huang says it’s the select few cases that really get our attention, “About 1 of 150 might get the severe neuroinvasive disease, with the inflammation of the brain and the membrane around the brain”.
That can result in higher fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion, convulsions, paralysis and even death. Scary stuff, which explains why, “We have gotten a lot of calls lately in regards to a test,” says Sarah Toney, owner of Any Lab Now here in Austin. Just like mosquitoes, her staffers have been busy drawing blood from Austinites willing to pay $119 for a West Nile test.
Toney says Any Lab Now has been inundated with phone calls this week, “You know I am having these symptoms. How do I find out if I have West Nile? What can I do? Some people are in panic mode, some are not.”
There is a degree of panic. Just for perspective the folks at Any Lab Now say that until now they had never previously gotten any requests for West Nile Tests. Additionally, they say that because of increased testing, results that usually come back in about a day are sometimes taking a week.