First 2021 case of West Nile Virus in Fort Bend Co. resident reported

This is a digitally-colorized transmission electron microscopic (TEM) image of the West Nile virus (WNV). (Photo: Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC)

Health officials say a probable case of West Nile Virus Encephalitis has been confirmed in a Fort Bend County resident. It is the first case in a county resident this year.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the probable case on Thursday. The Fort Bend County Health & Human Services investigated the case.

RELATED: First West Nile Virus mosquito sample discovered in NW Harris Co.

The resident is said to be recovering from the infection.

West Nile Virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, and mosquito season starts in the late spring or in the summer and continues through the fall, officials say.

According to health officials, most people infected with West Nile Virus do not feel sick, and only about 1 in 5 people who get infected will develop a fever or other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.


There is not a vaccine to protect against West Nile Virus.

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services shares these tips to help protect from mosquito-borne illnesses:

Tips for reducing mosquitoes around your home

Mosquitoes require water for reproduction. The following can help reduce mosquitoes:

• If possible, dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.

• You can also drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for plants or recycling.

• Clean clogged roof gutters.

• Turn over objects that may trap water when they are not in use, such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.

• Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. When pools are not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary.

• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, no holes, and remain closed

Tips for avoiding mosquito bites when outdoors

• Minimize outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven and loose-fitting.

• Use mosquito netting if camping or otherwise sleeping outdoors.

• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone, and apply according to directions when it is necessary to be outdoors. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

• When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.