First West Nile Virus case reported in Texas in 2015

The West Nile virus (WNV) has started spreading its fatal tentacles as a patient in Harris County, Texas has been confirmed positive, becoming the first human case of the mosquito-borne virus found in 2015.

The patient is reported to have contracted the more serious form of this illness which affects less than 1% of humans who contract the disease. The doctors informed that the patient is expected to recover.

The symptoms of this illness include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue.

Tom Sidwa, State Public Health Veterinarian and Manager of DSHS’s zoonosis control branch, explained,” Up to 80% of people who contract the virus don’t get symptoms and won’t even know they have it. But those who do get sick can experience very serious effects ranging from fever to substantial neurological symptoms and even death”.

The severity of the disease arises from the fact that most people who are infected will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people, who are infected, will develop a fever with other symptoms, and less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness. Further CDC clarified that there are no medications to prevent or treat WNV infection.

Those who develop the riskier West Nile neuroinvasive disease are at threat for neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention informed that WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Therefore, it is advisable for the residents to use insect repellent and to wear protective clothing to prevent bites. Also, standing water must be drained to avoid breeding of mosquitoes.

It has been reported that Mosquitoes have been tested positive for West Nile in Mesquite, Frisco and Dallas counties, as well.