Two McLennan County residents are being treated for West Nile Virus. The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District confirmed two cases of West Nile Virus in a McLennan County residents. West Nile symptoms were first spotted in one person on July 21, 2006. The second case was confirmed Monday afternoon. The Health District has previously warned of the virus in infected mosquitoes. The health district points out that these cases confirm that the virus is and remains as part of the natural environment. The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites an infected bird. The virus is not spread from bird to bird or from person to person. West Nile Virus is a nervous system disease transmitted from an infected mosquito primarily to birds, but also to humans and horses. The symptoms for humans may range from no symptoms to more severe symptoms requiring medical attention. The resident diagnosed with the virus is currently recovering under a physician’s care.
The virus is present in the bird and mosquito population throughout Texas and the United States. It is detected primarily during the warmer months of the year but survives the winter.
Humans can contract West Nile virus when bitten by an infected mosquite. Mosquitoes are active year round in the McLennan County area.
Ann Davis of the health district urges older resident to be especially to take the proper precautions.
The McLennan County Health District reminds residents that for personal protection against mosquitoes when outdoors, remember the Four D’s:
v DEET -- Wear insect repellant on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when protecting children. Repellants containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m- toluamide), oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picaridin is the most effective.
v Dress -- Wear light colored clothing including long sleeves and long pants.
v Dusk / Dawn -- Be aware that most mosquitoes are most active in early evening and early morning but can bite anytime of the day.
v Drain -- any containers holding water. Remove standing water in your yard.
Mosquitoes develop only in standing water. In just a few days, mosquitoes can grow from
eggs to another new crop of hungry, biting mosquitoes.
v A variety of mosquito control products is available at hardware and department stores.
v Also, to keep mosquitoes out of the house, be sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition.