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County Public Health Dept. Confirms first case of human West Nile virus in 2022

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The Montgomery County Public Health District has received Texas Department of State Health Services confirmation of the first case of human West Nile virus in Montgomery County for 2022.

The man, who is in his 70s, resides in the 77301 ZIP code area and is currently hospitalized.

MCPHD confirmed two total cases of West Nile virus in the fall and winter of 2021.

West Nile virus can cause serious disease and is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. People typically develop symptoms between three and 14 days after being bitten. According to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms, but there is no way to know in advance whether a person will develop illness.

Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Serious symptoms that account for less than 1 percent of those infected can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. These symptoms can last for several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.

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If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. The majority of milder WNV illnesses improve on their own.

According to the CDC, the most effective way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Avoid bites by using insect repellants, wearing protective clothing when outdoors and emptying standing water outside of your home.

The Precinct 3 Commissioner’s Office recently treated affected areas where there were positive West Nile virus mosquito samples. Treatment includes spraying streets and county rights of way.

Residents can check the treatment activity map (http://www.precinct3.org/mosquito) to learn when spraying will occur in their neighborhoods.

Photo: South County Mosquito Abatement Map as of July 20 at 4:47pm

Residents should avoid outdoor activity during the scheduled treatment hours. It also is recommended that residents take personal protective measures, such as wearing insect repellent and dressing in long, light, loose clothing whenever outdoors.

For residents who would like assistance identifying mosquito-breeding sites in their drainage ditches or in the county right of way near their home, call 936-522-9352 to set up an appointment. Our teams can provide customized advice on how to deal with these issues.

Please direct questions via email to justin.fausek@mctx.org or call the mosquito phone line at 936-522-9352.

Remember to Think WET!

Wear repellent

Eliminate standing water

Treat water you can’t eliminate

For more information on WNV, visit the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.

Source: Office of Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack

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