Texas reports first 2020 case, death from West Nile virus

Talk 1370 Newsroom
July 23, 2020 - 3:59 pm

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Texas state health officials have confirmed the first case of West Nile virus for 2020.

Officials said Thursday this year's first reported case was in an adult resident of Tarrant County with underlying medical conditions, who later died.

Thursday's announcement comes after both Travis and Williamson County reported positive tests for West Nile virus earlier this month. So far, there have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Central Texas this year.

DSHS urges people not to give mosquitoes a biting chance by taking a few simple steps.

  • WEAR long sleeves and pants, and create a barrier to mosquito bites by covering up
  • APPLY insect repellent, using 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

West Nile virus can be transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Most who are exposed to the virus don't get sick, officials said, but about 20 percent on average will develop symptoms including headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea, and fatigue. Less than 1 percent see effects on their nervous system, leading to more serious illnesses 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.

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