Man dies after contracting first reported Texas case of West Nile virus in 2020

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 19:05:56-04

TARRANT COUNTY, TX — A Tarrant County man has died after he contracted the first reported case of West Nile virus in Texas for 2020. Now, the Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding people to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

DSHS is urging people to take these steps:

  • WEAR long sleeves and pants. Create a barrier to mosquito bites by covering up.
  • APPLY insect repellent. Use EPA-registered repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus/p-menthane-diol.
  • REMOVE standing water. Emptying out water that accumulates in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant pots will deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.

The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos.

Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, but about 20% develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. In a very small proportion, less than one percent, the virus affects the nervous system, leading to a more serious illness that can cause neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and even death.

In the last 10 years, Texas has reported more than 3,300 cases of West Nile disease, including 172 deaths.