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First human in Bell County in 2023 diagnosed with West Nile Virus

Mosquitos carrying infectious diseases are becoming harder to kill
Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 18:46:06-04

BELL COUNTY, Texas — The first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Bell County has been reported for 2023.

Bell County Public Health (BCPH) announced Wednesday that the patient is a male resident of Bell County — for privacy and confidentiality reasons, BCPH will not disclose additional information about the patient.

According to BCPH, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV in humans.

WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, and the disease can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, dogs, bats, and poultry.

Humans get the disease through infected mosquito bites, but are generally at low risk of serious infection and cannot spread WNV from human to human.

However, severe cases of a WNV infection can cause neurologic complications like encephalitis and/or meningitis.

BCPH is piloting a mosquito surveillance program this year, and as of Wednesday, 16 positive sample testing pools have been found in Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, and Temple — this confirms the presence of the mosquito that transmits WNV in Bell County.

Bell County recommends following this protocol to help citizens protect themselves and their families:

DEFEND: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA-approved repellents and follow instructions.
DRESS: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk.
DRAIN: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.

"Knowing that we have the presence of West Nile Virus in Bell County, it is important for our citizens to take protective measures for yourselves and your families to minimize the potential for illness," said Bell County Public Health District Board of Health Chairman, Michael Blomquist.

"Following the 3D's is the best way to avoid mosquito bites and minimize sources for the mosquitoes to multiply."

For more information, visit the Department of State Health Services West Nile website at or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at