The Texas Department of State Health Services released a report Tuesday that shows there is West Nile virus activity in Moore County. The virus hasn’t been reported in Hartley County to the west and Sherman County to the north, but 14 Panhandle counties are shown in the report as being active with the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans get infected with West Nile Virus when an infected mosquito bites them. The mosquitoes are infected when they feed on infected birds. The virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis or meningitis, and there is no vaccine for it. Seven cases in 2015 have resulted in death.
The DSHS is reminding people about the danger posed by West Nile illness and encouraging them to protect themselves. People should reduce their risk of exposure to the mosquito-borne virus that causes it by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas; making sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition; wearing long sleeves and long pants outdoors when possible and using an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol.
As many as 80 percent of people who contract the virus will have no symptoms at all. Almost all others will have West Nile fever with symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. A very small minority will develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease, a life threatening illness that can cause neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
For more information about the virus, click on this link.