West Nile Virus
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- 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
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- 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
West Nile Worriers Crowd ER's
Updated: Friday, September 7 2012, 12:54 PM CDT
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a record number of cases of a deadly virus carried by mosquitoes. On Wednesday, we learned the West Nile virus is hitting Texas harder than anywhere else in the country. New numbers from the CDC show there are more than a thousand cases in the lone star state, with 40 deaths, nine more than last week.
Oklahoma, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and South Dakota have also been hit hard, but their cases number around a hundred. The spike in cases has more people heading to emergency rooms, thinking they have the virus.
With it still spreading, reacting to a simple mosquito bite can be a bit more worrisome.
“You get these rare presentations with fatal illnesses without treatment and it would scare me too,” said Dr. T.J. Milling about why emergency rooms are filling up with West Nile worriers.
Dr. Milling, who works at the University Medical Center at Brackenridge ER, said West Nile anxiety can take away from real emergencies at hospitals.
“You overstress your emergency system with a bunch of mild illness and it's harder to take care of heart attack and strokes and serious things that happen in the ER,” he explained.
To find out when people should head to the emergency room, we went to Dr. Brian Metzger at St. David’s Medical Center. Dr. Metzger said he just finished treating his second case of the rarest and most deadly form of West Nile, when the virus invades the brain. This happens to less than one percent of people infected.
“It’s inflammation of the brain that causes confusion, inability to stand or walk, weakness in the limbs and that person needs to come in,” explained Dr. Metzger.
But if you're only experiencing flu like symptoms, like swollen lymph glands, fever and body aches, you may be a part of the 20 percent of people who develop symptoms after contracting West Nile. There's just not much these doctors can do. They said to come see them, if you also develop an altered mental state, neck stiffness or muscle weakness.
If you insist on being tested for West Nile, it's not as easy as getting tested for the flu. You need to supply a blood sample that takes about a week to get results.