West Nile virus

Tarrant County Confirms First Positive West Nile Virus Sample of 2021 Season

No human cases yet reported in Tarrant County; no positive samples, human cases in Dallas County

As the threat of COVID-19 improves in North Texas, April is the start of West Nile Virus season and there’s reason to be concerned about the mosquito carried illness, which is also a killer.
NBC 5 News

The Tarrant County Public Health Department confirmed their first positive sample of West Nile virus Wednesday.

TCPH said the sample was collected in Crowley and is the first positive sample this season; more than 147 samples have been collected since April 5.

Last year's first positive sample occurred at about the same time, on April 23.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease spread to people by a bite from an infected mosquito. The annual West Nile virus "season" runs from April through mid-November.

About 20% of infected people will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. People age 50 and older run a higher risk of developing a severe infection.

So far there have been no positive samples or confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Dallas County this season.

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites

  • Dress in long sleeves, pants when outside: For extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • DEET: Make sure this ingredient is in your insect repellent.
  • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood: Mosquitoes can develop in any water stagnant for more than three days.

It has been recommended in the past that to avoid mosquito bites you should avoid being outdoors during Dusk and Dawn (the 4 Ds). While this is true for mosquitoes that commonly carry the West Nile virus, other types of mosquitoes that are more likely to carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya are active during the day. When outdoors, no matter what time of day, adjust your dress accordingly and wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus as your first line of defense against insect bites

More on Dallas County's WNV prevention and tracking page can be found here.

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