1st death related to West Nile Virus reported in Montgomery County this year, officials say

A man, in his 70s, has died from the West Nile virus in Montgomery County, according to Texas Department of State Health Services.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A man, in his 70s, has died from the West Nile virus in Montgomery County, according to Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Montgomery County Public Health District said the patient resided in the 77301 zip code. It is the county’s first death related West Nile virus for 2022.

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 they are bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop the 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% 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.

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.

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

Montgomery County Public Health District’s mission is promoting a healthy, resilient community through health education, disease prevention, clinical services, and emergency preparedness. For more information about the Montgomery County Public Health District please go to www.mcphd-tx.org.