A 50-year-old woman living in the Williamson County is suspected of being infected with the West Nile Virus after being diagnosed with meningitis. Another senior patient has probably been infected with the virus, but doctors cannot say for sure due to an issue regarding the blood sample.
Georgetown officials have been spraying insecticide over the area where both patients live. The next spraying round will be this Tuesday night around nine pm. According to John Teel, health district executive director, although these infections might be random, blood tests will reveal whether the two patients were in fact bitten by the disease-carrying mosquitoes.
After setting several traps, the public health experts have gathered nine samples which tested positive for the West Nile Virus. Teel believes that the virus was brought by birds which migrated south. Mosquitoes bite them, and this is how they contract the West Nile.
However, it has no effect on them, but they can still transmit it to humans or other animals, especially birds. Teel underlines that serious efforts must be made in order to prevent mosquito bites, especially during Thanksgiving.
If the weather remains warm this winter, these mosquitoes might be a threat during the holiday season as well. That is why experts hope that the freezing temperatures will come sooner. Standing water is the ideal breeding environment for these mosquitoes.
Public health officials advise Williamson County’s resident to eliminate all places where these insects can breed, especially any source of stagnant water such as clogged gutters, bird baths, old tires, pet dishes, and flower pots.
Another method of prevention consists of EPA-approved mosquito repellents containing DEET and lemon eucalyptus. These disease-carrying insects hate lemons, so you can also plant a lemon tree in your garden.
Wear long-sleeved pants and shirts, and make sure you go for thick clothing to prevent mosquitoes from biting you. Also, avoid spending time outdoors during dusk and dawn, when these insects are most active.
One in five people will develop the West Nile Virus symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and muscle aches among others.
Those most at risk are seniors over 50, children, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems. In pregnant women, the West Nile Virus may lead to miscarriages as well.
Image Source: CDB