EL PASO (KXAN) — El Paso County reported the first case of West Nile Virus this year in Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services on Tuesday.
The El Paso Department of Public Health reported an adult came down with the disease, which is transmitted through mosquito bites. DSHS says it is reviewing more cases in that area and expects the total number of confirmed cases will rise.
Last year, 11 people died and a total of 146 people had West Nile. There were 2 cases in Travis County and 3 in Williamson County. While most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, about 20% have symptoms such as headaches, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. An even smaller portion of people — less than 1% — experience a more serious illness that affects their nervous systems and can cause neck stiffness, disorientation, convulsions, tremors, paralysis or death. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should go to a doctor and mention if they were bitten by mosquitoes.
People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by making sure their window and door screens aren’t damaged. They can also wear long sleeves, apply insect repellant and get rid of any standing water near their homes.