Galveston County may have first West Nile virus case

Published On: Sep 12 2012 08:54:37 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 12 2012 09:34:26 AM CDT

A Dickinson man may be the first human case of West Nile virus in Galveston County, officials said Wednesday.

The man, only described as between 45 and 50 years old, showed "probable" symptoms of the disease and is being treated as a possible case, officials said.

In Houston, five new cases were reported this week, bringing the total in the city of Houston to 43 and Harris County to 16.

In a news release, the Galveston County Health District urged people to avoid mosquitoes and not to panic.

"To date there has been only one probable case of West Nile virus reported in the county; however, it is believed that many more cases go undiagnosed and unreported.  There is no evidence that West Nile virus can be spread from person to person or from animal to person," the release said.

Dallas has been hit the hardest with cases of West Nile virus. Dallas County has reported 296 cases. Thirteen of the patients died.

Protect Yourself From West Nile Virus

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus, which is spread through mosquito bites, can be fended off by emptying containers that may collect rainwater and sprinkler water. Also, use insect repellent, especially when going out in the evening.

To help eliminate mosquito-breeding sites and prevent mosquito-borne diseases, residents should do the following:

West Nile Virus Symptoms In Humans

West Nile Virus Symptoms In Animals

For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.