SUGAR LAND, Texas – Officials have confirmed Thursday a positive case of the West Nile Virus in Sugar Land, according to a press release.
The mosquitoes were trapped this week, and at least one tested positive for the virus, per the release. City officials said they will increase mosquito spraying to twice per week citywide.
In addition, officials said they will continue to work closely with the Texas Department of State Health Services to trap and test mosquitos for the presence of the West Nile virus. The traps serve as a supplement to the city’s larvicide and mosquito spraying operations.
According to the press release, humans can contract the West Nile virus from a mosquito bite while infected mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds. Officials warn that the virus can cause serious illness or death.
Doctor Joe Anzaldua urges residents to take precautions to reduce West Nile exposure, such as wearing insect repellent when outdoors and avoiding outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
The TDSHS also recommends using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, dressing in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside and draining standing water where mosquitoes breed. Other common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
“People over 50 years old and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if infected with the virus. If people have symptoms that cause them concern, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately,” he said. ”There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. Symptoms may include a stiff neck, vision problems, body tremors, mental confusion, memory loss and seizures. The milder form of the illness is West Nile Fever.”
Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle and bone aches, nausea and drowsiness, per the release. People with the milder form of the illness typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. However, up to 80 percent of people infected with the West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own.
Officials said anyone with questions or concerns should contact their doctor.