Tarrant County Reports First Human Case of West Nile Virus of the Year

Tarrant County health officials have confirmed the season's fist human case of West Nile virus Monday.

The affected person has West Nile fever, rather than the more serious neuroinvasive disease, officials said. Further information about the case has not been released in order to protect the person's identity.

Tarrant County had 44 human cases of West Nile virus in 2016, including one death.

Officials said West Nile fever can involve headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. The illness may last for several weeks, but people typically recover.

Symptoms of West Nile neuroinvasive disease include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. The neuroinvasive form of the disease can be deadly.

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.

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