The first human case of West Nile Virus has been reported in Williamson County. Now, health officials there are stepping up to take measures to help combat the virus.
A health official said the patient is a 55-year-old man, and was hospitalized for the virus. John Teel is the Executive Director for the Williamson County and Cities Health District, “1 in 100 you'll get sick, the virus will affect either the covering of their brain or the gray matter of the brain and those are our citizens that end up in the emergency room and intensive care, that is the most dangerous form of the disease, that is the form this case has.”
Teel said are stepping up efforts in the Oak Crest neighborhood around where the man lives. “A pesticide contractor is scheduled to spray in the vicinity where our case resides.” ‘
Along with their efforts, health officials want you to do your part, “If I lived in that particular neighborhood and I heard of this particular case, what it would make me do is redouble my efforts as an adult. If I were a parent of children I would remember a couple of things, one is just don't get bitten, that sounds oversimplified, but we really mean that for Central Texas residents,” Teel said.
Teel said to remember your 4-D's.
-Defend, yourself by using mosquito repellant
-Dusk and Dawn, are when the mosquitoes are most active so try to stay inside
-Dress, in long sleeves and pants when outside
-Drain, walk around your property check for any standing water, this is where mosquitoes breed, it could be children's toys that are left in the yard, or something like this, yard decorations, you want to make sure you dump that water out. ”These southern house mosquitoes typically don’t breed in rivers and lakes, they breed in containers in our own yards,” said Teel.
Symptoms for West Nile are like the flu, with the difference you may get a rash, but it may be hard to tell if you have it. “80% of the folks who get infected with this West Nile Virus will never know it and they will never show a symptom whether it's a child or adult,” Teel said for those not showing symptoms, there's really only one way to find out, ”You won't know unless you try to go donate blood, and it'll come back positive and certainly you'll get a letter from the blood bank,” Teel said.