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Tarrant County Confirms First Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2014

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tarrant County health officials confirmed Monday morning the first human case of West Nile virus in the 2014 season.

    The case involves a person in Crowley who has contracted the neuroinvasive form of the disease. It is the most severe form of the virus and affects the nervous system.

    Due to patient privacy, further information on the patient is not expected to be released.

    Last year county officials recorded a major drop in the number of cases in the county. Tarrant County had only six human cases of the virus and one fatality in 2013, compared to 81 people sickened and four killed in 2012. The number of positive mosquito pools also were on the decline, with 15 in 2012 and just five in 2013. It should be noted though that testing did not take place across the whole season in 2012.

    Last month, Dallas County confirmed two cases of West Nile fever. Last year, the county reported more than a dozen human cases.

    Fewer than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus experience the neuroinvasive form of the illness.

    Most people bitten by a West Nile virus-infected mosquito will not show any symptoms.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, "The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

    • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
    • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
    • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
    • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used."

    NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.


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