Tarrant County sees decrease in West Nile virus cases

Posted Monday, Sep. 10, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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West Nile virus symptoms

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not have any type of illness or may experience mild fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering. If illness were to occur, it would occur within 3 to 15 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Symptoms

Fever, headache and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

In a very few individuals, particularly the elderly, the virus can affect brain tissue, cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), but more commonly presents as a febrile illness. Symptoms of encephalitis include rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck (in meningitis), muscle weakness, confusion and loss of consciousness

Source: Tarrant County Public Health Department

Preventing West Nile Virus

The Tarrant County Public Health Department recommends the 4Ds.

Drain standing water on your property so mosquitoes won't breed.

Use insect repellent that contains DEET.

Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

Dress in long sleeves and pants and spray insect repellent on the clothes.

How do you feel about aerial spraying in the effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus?

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Tarrant County public health officials have recorded one human case of West Nile virus disease since Sept. 1.

The number of cases has dropped significantly since reaching a peak in July, said Anita Kurian, chief epidemiologist with Tarrant County public health.

Sometimes it takes a few weeks before hospitals report a confirmed case, so cases being reported now could be from people who actually contracted the disease in August, Kurian said.

On Monday, Tarrant County started a ground-spraying initiative in unincorporated areas from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. The initiative will continue until all unincorporated areas of the county are covered.

- Nicholas Sakelaris and Mitch Mitchell

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