Tarrant County health officials confirmed Monday morning the first human case of West Nile virus in the 2014 season.
The number of positive West Nile cases in mosquitoes is on the rise in Wichita Falls.
Recent rains have also caused mosquitoes to take flight, but Wichita County health officials say they are not causing any problems yet.
On Monday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report saying that, in the United States, 2012 was the deadliest year on record for deaths attributed to the West Nile virus.
Texas led the nation, compromising 33 percent of all reported cases with 1,868 infections and 89 deaths. That was far above California, which had the second most reported cases at 479 and 20 deaths.
In the majority of West Nile virus cases, most people experience only minor symptoms such as fever and a mild headache. However, some people who become infected with the virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
Serious symptoms can include:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stupor or coma
- Tremors or muscle jerking
- Lack of coordination
- Partial paralysis or sudden muscle weakness
Signs and symptoms of West Nile fever usually last a few days, but signs and symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis can linger for weeks, and certain neurological effects, such as muscle weakness, may be permanent.
If you or a family member experience any of these more severe symptoms see a physician immediately.
The CDC's Dr. Lyle Petersen says it's impossible to know what West Nile will do this summer. "It is very hard to predict," he said in a telephone interview with NBC News. "I can't tell you what the weather is going to be like this summer, for example." The virus is driven by weather; it's worse during hot, wet summers in temperate climates.
"What last summer's outbreak tells us is that West Nile is not going to go away," Petersen said. "Most places in the United States are at risk of having outbreaks."
Currently, there is no vaccine against the virus for people. Most infections occur in the warmer months when mosquitoes are active.
Adults over 50 ar
West Nile Virus has been all the rage the past couple months, and with good reason. As of last week, 48 states have reported West Nile infections in nearly two thousand people. That's the highest number of cases since 1999. But health officials say West Nile isn't the only health concern this year.
Wichita Co. health district reports 5 probable cases of West Nile Virus.
Two more people have contracted West Nile Virus in Bowie. This after physicians there say one man may have died because of the virus.
Now that school is back in session, concerns about kids contracting the West Nile Virus are on the rise.
Standing bodies of water may become nesting grounds for Mosquitoes.
It appears the West Nile Virus may have claimed another victim in Oklahoma.
With 241 cases of West Nile virus and four related deaths reported so far this year, the United States is experiencing the biggest spike in the mosquito-borne illness since 2004, health officials report.
As of August 1, Texas has confirmed 111 human cases of West Nile and three deaths.
Mississippi and Oklahoma are also seeing earlier activity than usual. Overall, 42 states had detected West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes as of July 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
"It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years," Dr. Marc Fischer, medical epidemiologist with agency's Arboviral Diseases Branch, said in a CDC news release. "Regardless of the reasons for the increase, people should be aware of the West Nile virus activity in their area and take action to protect themselves and their family."
Typically, the greatest risk for infection with West Nile virus occurs from June through September, with cases peaking in mid-August. But changes in the weather, the number of infected mosquitoes and human behavior can all influence when and where outbreaks of the virus occur, the CDC noted.
So what can you do to protect your family against the potentially deadly virus?
The CDC recommends:
Other suggestions include:
A week after West Nile was confirmed in Wichita County for the first time in 3 years, health officials say the virus is spreading.
Protecting horses against West Nile
Number of West Nile cases in Texas on the Rise.
And with water comes mosquitoes, especially during this time of year.