West Nile Virus
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- 2 Diagnosed With West Nile Virus In Williamson County, 2 in Hays County
- Texas Seeing Bulk Of West Nile Cases
Texas Seeing Bulk Of West Nile Cases
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT
Health officials say West Nile virus season is off to a menacing start, with more serious illnesses reported so far this year than any since 2004.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention released the following numbers Wednesday. Through the end of July, 241 human cases have been reported in 22 states, including four deaths.
CDC officials noted that most West Nile infections are reported in August and September, so it's not clear how bad this year will be.
Health officials believe the mild winter, early spring and very hot summer have fostered breeding of the mosquitoes that spread the virus to people.
The bulk of cases are in Texas, especially around the Dallas area. In Travis County a person over the age of 50 died earlier in the week due to the mosquito spreading virus.
In addition, Travis County is reporting more than a handful of cases, including six hospitalizations.
Williamson County health officials say they are also looking into two cases of the disease.
Central Texas Counties say they are responding to the rise in West Nile cases by actively testing mosquitoes and spraying areas of concern.
According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, body aches, diarrhea, or rash. Other symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, coma and paralysis. Less than one percent of patients develop a serious illness. There are no medications to treat West Nile and no vaccines to help prevention.
Experts recommend eliminating standing water; staying indoors at dusk and dawn; and removing leaves and other debris from ditches and low areas.
Health officials are advising everyone to take precautions. But if you plan on participating in outdoor activities, they urge you to stay protected with insect repellent that contains deet.