AUSTIN (KXAN) — A second human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Austin, the city’s public health department said Tuesday.
The case is a more serious form of the illness known as West Nile Neuroinvasive disease. Austin Public Health says, in addition to the second case, two mosquito sample pools from traps set in the Barton Creek Greenbelt area have tested positive for West Nile.
The city’s first human case this year was confirmed last week.
The health department says most people who are infected with the virus do not show any signs or symptoms, but if symptoms develop, you should seek medical attention.
Symptoms begin with fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, an occasional skin rash on the trunk of your body and swollen lymph glands.
While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks, the department said.
People who are over the age of 50 face the most significant risk for developing the severe form of the disease after being infected.
“It’s important to remember that West Nile is endemic in our environment- in other words- it’s here to stay,” Austin Public Health said, making it important that everyone help reduce the mosquito population by preventing them from breeding.
Here’s what you can do:
- Drain any containers outside your home such as flower pots and children’s toys (mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water).
- Fix outdoor pipes and leaky faucets
- Clean roof gutters
For personal protection, the best defense is with an EPA-approved insect repellent, with repellents containing DEET proving to be safe and the most effective, even for children and pregnant women, the department said.
Austin Public Health says you can also wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that are light-colored since mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.