Health officials in Denton County have confirmed two more human cases of West Nile virus.
The two most recent cases are in the city of Denton. The total number of human cases in Denton County is now at three -- the first case was in an unincorporated part of the county.
Ahead of the confirmation of new cases, the city of Denton elevated their Mosquito Risk to Level 5 on Monday. The elevated level includes the spraying of both larvicide and adulticide to curb the infestation of mosquitoes in areas that have tested positive for West Nile.
“Not every mosquito carries the virus, and less than 1 percent of the bites from mosquitoes that do have the virus actually cause serious illness,” said Juan Rodriguez, Chief Epidemiologist for the Denton County Health Department. “But West Nile illness does exist in Denton County, and it’s a good idea to reduce the risk by eliminating mosquito hatching grounds and by minimizing exposure to mosquitoes.”
Most people bitten by a West Nile virus infected mosquito will not show any symptoms. Should symptoms appear, they are fever, headache, nausea, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rashes. Less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus will experience the serious form of the illness; serious symptoms include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors or convulsions, vision loss, muscle weakness, and numbness or paralysis.
The DCHD encourages residents to take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of getting the mosquito-borne West Nile virus by remembering the four D’s: drain, dress, DEET and dusk/dawn.
- Drain standing water around their homes to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.
- Dress in pants and long sleeves when outside, but avoid becoming too hot.
- Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET to exposed skin and to clothing when outdoors.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
The Denton County Health Department maintains a West Nile virus website at http://www.dentoncounty.com/heart/WNV where there is more information on prevention tips, symptoms and tips for reducing mosquitoes around the home.