Austin Public Health has identified the year’s first probable human case of West Nile Virus disease in an adult resident of northern Travis County.
Last week, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the year’s first human case for the State of Texas in Tarrant County.
APH says West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States and is typically spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
“The first probable human case of West Nile Virus disease serves as a reminder to take precautions to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, which can then bite and infect people in our community,” said Janet Pichette, APH Chief Epidemiologist. “Like many other diseases, we have the power to prevent West Nile Virus by draining standing water, limiting time spent outdoors, and wearing appropriate clothing and DEET when outdoors.”
Most people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not have any type of illness.
It is estimated that 20% of the people who become infected will develop fever with mild, flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.
Individuals over 50 years of age are at a higher risk for severe disease, which may include stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, and paralysis.