Texas Reports Year’s First West Nile Case

News Release
News Release
July 28, 2021

News Release
July 27, 2021

Public health officials haveconfirmed the state’s first case of illness caused by West Nile virus in 2021.The disease case, reported by Dallas County Health and Human Services, occurred in a resident of Dallas County.

 

West Nile virus is transmitted throughthe bite of infected mosquitoes. Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, butabout 20 percent develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches,nausea and fatigue. In a very small proportion, less than one percent, thevirus affects the nervous system, leading to a more serious illness that cancause neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and evendeath.

 

The Texas Department of StateHealth Services urges people to declare WAR on mosquitoes toprotect themselves and their families from West Nile and other diseases spreadby mosquitoes.

 

  • WEAR long sleeves and pants. Create abarrier to mosquito bites by covering up.
  • APPLY insect repellent. Use EPA-registeredrepellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin,IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone.
  • REMOVE standing water. Emptying waterthat accumulates in toys, tires, trash cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters and plant potswill deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs and reproduce.

 

People should also keep mosquitoesout of their homes by using air conditioning and making sure window and doorscreens are in good repair. DSHS urges people with West Nile symptoms tocontact their health care provider and mention any exposure to mosquitoes.

 

There were 122 cases of West Niledisease in Texas last year and 24 deaths.* Over the last five years, Texas hashad 805 cases and 63 deaths. Mosquitoes remain active in much of Texas intoNovember and December. 

* Cases and attributed deaths datafor 2020 are provisional.

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(News Media Contact: pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)