AUSTIN (KXAN) - The West Nile Virus continues to be a growing health concern in Central Texas. More cases were confirmed in Travis County by mid-August.
The Travis County Health And Human Services Department reports there have been 13 confirmed cases in the county this year. One person has died in Travis County after getting West Nile. Williamson County health officials say they have had two confirmed cases since the beginning of July. In Hays County, two people have confirmed cases of West Nile and are recovering.
Experts say Central Texas can expect more cases this summer thanks to the rain we saw early in the season.
Ponding water creates a perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes which transmit the sometimes deadly disease.
State of emergency in Dallas County
Dallas County in north Texas has declared a state of emergency because of West Nile Virus. The number of human cases is up to 175, and there have been nine deaths. Now the county is considering a plan for aerial spraying to kill off the mosquitoes. Commissioners said no to that plan early in August. West Nile season is not expected to peak until late August.
Prevention information from the Williamson County and Cities Health District
About 1 out of 150 people bitten by WNV infected mosquitoes will develop a central nervous system
disease (Encephalitis or Meningitis). Approximately 10 percent of people with this severe form of
infection die from their illness and many survivors suffer from long-term nervous system problems.
Fortunately, most people bitten by infected mosquitoes develop West Nile Fever, the less severe form of
the disease, and fight off the illness without any symptoms. WNV symptoms usually begin 3 to 15 days
after being bitten and can include headache, high fever, rash, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation,
convulsions, paralysis, and coma. All age groups are vulnerable to WNV. However, the elderly or people
with weakened immune systems face the highest risk of developing a severe or even fatal illness from a
Residents can protect themselves from mosquitoes by limiting outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, since
this is the prime feeding time for WNV carrying mosquitoes. If you go outside, take precautions; wear
loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants. Even if mosquito activity seems low; it only takes one
bite from an infected mosquito to transmit the virus.
All residents should take immediate steps to eliminate the habitats where mosquitos live and breed:
* Eliminate standing water in wheelbarrows, rain gutters, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other
container where mosquitoes can breed
* Empty and change the water in pet drinking bowls, bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain
barrels, and potted plant trays every 4 to 5 days to destroy potential mosquito habitats
* Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt
* Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating
* Clean out rain gutters
* Remove discarded tires or keep them dry and covered
* Add an aerator to ponds and water gardens or add fish that will eat mosquitos and larvae
* Remove debris (leaves, twigs, trash) from ditches and low areas
* Fill in ruts and holes that collect standing water
Several safe and effective mosquito repellent options are also available:
* Repellents containing DEET (up to 30 percent concentration) are still the most widely used and
can provide long-lasting protection against mosquito bites.
* Permethrin is a strong repellent and will kill mosquitoes that come into contact with treated
clothing. Repellents containing permethrin are applied to clothing (not skin). Treated clothing can
be worn after the repellent dries.
* Effective alternatives to DEET or permethrin include repellents containing picaridin, oil of lemon
eucalyptus, or IR3535.
* For maximum effectiveness and safety, all mosquito repellents should be used according to label
Other things going around
* Strep throat
St. David's Georgetown Hospital
Dr. Johnathan Conner
* Heat-related illnesses
* Sinus issues
St. David's Urgent Care
Circle C - Dr. James Balarbar
Kyle - Dr. Megan Hood
* Ear aches
* Sports injuries
* Sports physicals
St. David's Medical Center
Dr. Ann Buchanan
* Respiratory infections
St. David's Emergency Center
Dr. Vard Curtis
* Fever (pediatric patients)
* Strep throat ( pediatric patients)
St. David's Emergency Center (Bee Cave)
Dr. Edward Lee
* Lacerations (pediatric patients)
Scott & White Clinic
Dr. Paul Berg
* Reminder to get pertussis vaccine
Austin Regional Clinic
* Listeriosis causes recalls
Several recalls of food products in the last few couple of weeks have doctors warning patients about listeriosis.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.