The Montgomery County Public Health System is reporting the first human case of West Nile Virus in the Houston area. The organization released the following statement on Tuesday:
A South Montgomery County resident, female in her late 40’s, has been confirmed to have the West Nile Virus; this is the first case in the county for 2015. Public Health continues to ask homeowners to do their part to help fight West Nile Virus.
According to CDC the most effective way to avoid West Nile Virus disease is to prevent Mosquito bites.
Avoid bites by using insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products and follow their directions for use. Weather permitting, wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors. Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn and it is good to consider staying indoors during this hours.
It is important to Mosquito- Proof your home. Empty any standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, bird baths and any other items holding water on a regular basis. Install or repair screen on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside and use your Air-conditioning if you have it.
West Nile virus infection can cause serious disease and is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten. According to CDC approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop the illness or not.
Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Serious symptoms which account for less than 1% of those infected can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. These symptoms can last for several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.
If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness such as unusually severe headaches or confusion seek medical attention immediately. The majority of milder WNV illness improves on its own and medical attention is not needed unless you choose otherwise.