Texas reports first West Nile case

Case reported in Anderson County

Published On: May 24 2013 05:05:55 PM CDT   Updated On: May 24 2013 11:48:27 PM CDT
West Nile Virus Alert

State health officials are urging people to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne illness, after the state confirmed its first case of the illness for the season.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday the West Nile illness was confirmed in an adult male from Anderson County. The patient is recovering from the neuroinvasive form of the disease. Additional details about the patient are not being released to protect the patient’s identity.

“This is a serious illness that can take a long-lasting toll,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “Last season was unprecedented, with record numbers of cases and deaths reported in Texas. People need to do all they can to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Last year, Texas reported 1,868 human cases of West Nile illness, including 89 deaths.

State health officials said the intensity of West Nile virus activity in Texas fluctuates from year to year and depends on a variety of factors including the weather, the numbers of birds and mosquitoes that maintain and spread the virus and human behavior. The season can last up until the first hard freeze of the year. 

To reduce exposure to West Nile virus, DSHS has the following recommendations:

To learn more about symptoms and ways to defend yourself against the West Nile illness, click here.  http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westNile/