CORSICANA, Texas – Additional cases of West Nile Virus are being confirmed throughout Texas and health officials are increasing spraying operations aimed at killing infected mosquitoes.
So far, 465 cases in 42 counties have been reported, according to the Texas Department of State Health Service. Seventeen cases have resulted in death.
West Nile Virus is a viral infection spread by bites from infected mosquitos, and has been a major health concern in the north Texas area the past month. Dallas County has been hardest hit in the region, and has begun spraying for mosquitoes.
Many people with the West Nile virus may have no outward symptoms at all, said Emily Carroll, director of nursing at the Corsicana Health Department, although most common symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, headache, nausea and vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands.
Carroll said the state recommends the “four D’s” for combating mosquitos and the potential of the West Nile Virus.
“Basically it’s staying indoors from dusk until dawn, dressing in long sleeves and pants, using an insect repellent with DEET, and draining any standing water,” a prime breeding ground for mosquitos, Carroll said.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, there is no specific treatment for WNV infection. In cases with milder symptoms, people experience fever and aches that pass on their own, although even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
In more severe cases, people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.
Details for this story were provided by the Corsicana (Texas) Daily Sun.