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This Year’s First Case of West Nile Virus in Wichita Falls Has Been Confirmed

West Nile Virus confirmed in Wichita Falls
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Today (Oct 4), the Wichita Falls County Public Health District is reporting that they have received confirmation of this year’s first human case of West Nile Virus in Wichita Falls.

Additionally, the Environmental Health Division has confirmed that two mosquito samples within the Wichita Falls city limits have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, one of which was collected from the north side of town.

Earlier this year the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that a pool of mosquitoes from the Wichita Falls region tested positive for West Nile virus, but no human infections were discovered at that time.

The infected individual is a male resident of Wichita Falls who falls in the high-risk age range for West Nile virus contraction, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is persons over 50 years of age.

Only about 1 in 150 people infected with the West Nile Virus will develop severe illness. Most people who are infected with the virus will not have any type of illness or may experience mild fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering. Please contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described. It is also important to note that West Nile Virus is not casually transmitted from person to person.

To reduce the risk of illness, the Environmental Health Division will continue with mosquito control measures. This includes testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus, spraying for adult mosquitoes, and treating standing water to eliminate breeding areas.

The Health District also reminds citizens that the best way to avoid mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus is to practice the Four D’s:

1. DUSK and DAWN are the times of day you should try to stay indoors, because mosquitoes are most active.

2. DRESS in long sleeves and pants when you are outside.

3. DEET is an ingredient to look for in insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors.

4. DRAIN standing water in your yard and neighborhood where mosquitoes can breed. This includes old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, etc.

A representative from the Wichita Falls Health District says that upcoming cold fronts may slow down the breeding of mosquitoes in the area, but the pests will not completely disappear for the season until we have our first solid freeze.

For questions concerning West Nile Virus, please call 940-761-7697 or visit the CDC website.

To request spraying for adult mosquitoes please call 761-7890.

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