The West Nile virus has again reemerged health threat in North Texas. Tarrant County’s public health department is urging us to take extra care as cases increase across the country.
Of course, precautions against West Nile are especially important during a pandemic. The county’s public health director says the symptoms are similar, and since it can be hard to tell the difference, they're encouraging people to see a doctor if they experience fever, cough or sore throat.
Tarrant County’s Vector Control Supervisor, Nina Dacko says “environmental factors” are ripe for the virus to make a big comeback. Recent rain will also allow more mosquitoes to thrive in hot weather like we’re experiencing right now in North Texas.
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“There should be a concern because while people may be paying attention to coronavirus more than anything else, they start forgetting about West Nile and that’s the concern here,” said Tarrant County Vector Supervisor, Nina Dacko. “So we just want to make it apparent that people should still be paying attention to mosquito activity and wearing their repellents and protecting themselves against mosquitoes as well.”
Some important reminders, you should routinely dump standing water around your home and use EPA approved insect repellent and dress in long sleeves and pants.
It’s also important to note mosquitoes do not carry the virus that causes COVID-19.
Tarrant County Public Health reported the first West Nile Virus death of the 2020 season Tuesday. The death is also the first human case in 2020. The death involved a senior adult from Fort Worth with underlying medical conditions.
West Nile Virus can affect anyone, although people age 50 and older run a higher risk of developing a severe infection.