First 2012 human case of West Nile virus in Houston diagnosed

HOUSTON - The city of Houston has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus of 2012.

Health officials aren't identifying the West Nile victim, but she's described as a woman between the ages of 55 and 74, with a possible pre-existing health condition.

The woman lives in northeast Houston, where the Harris County Mosquito Control District will spray on Sunday. Citing privacy laws for the victim, officials would not release the exact area or even a ZIP code.

Kathy Barton of the city of Houston's health department said the culex mosquito is non-aggressive and is also known as the southern house mosquito.

They usually breed in storm sewers, where there is plenty of standing water and grass.

"In the evening they go looking for a meal. Usually that meal is from birds, sometimes humans," she said.

Health experts recommend using plenty of repellent.

Most people become infected within three to 10 days of a bite from an infected mosquito.

The bite can lead to meningitis or encephalitis, or simple-flu like symptoms

Standing water is a breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

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

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