First West Nile case confirmed in Texas - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


First West Nile case confirmed in Texas

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the state’s first human case of West Nile illness of the 2014 season. The mosquito-borne illness was confirmed in a patient from Travis County. 

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the West Nile season runs from June through October. Last year, there were 183 human cases of West Nile in Texas, with 14 deaths. In 2012, there was a record number of cases and deaths from West Nile in Texas.

DHSH says it is hard to predict how bad the West Nile season will be from year to year, so they are urging people to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus.

“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.”

In order to reduce exposure to the West Nile virus, DHSH suggests everyone use an approved insect repellent, drain standing water, wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk, because that is when mosquitoes are most active, and use air conditioning or put screens on your doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Symptoms for West Nile fever include, headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea, and fatigue. Symptoms usually last several weeks, and people usually recover on their own from West Nile fever. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent the West Nile virus. If you have symptoms or think you have West Nile, you should contact your doctor.

Visit for current case counts, or for disease background and more information.
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