Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus have been detected in Richardson County, Emergency Management Specialist Emily Scribner reported Friday.
People can only become infected with West Nile virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito and there is no evidence that people can get the virus from infected animals or people, or that people can transmit the West Nile virus to other animals, birds or people.
People over 50 years of age have the highest risk of developing a severe illness because older bodies have a harder time fighting off disease. People with compromised immune systems are also at increased risk, however, anyone can get the virus.
People with mild infections may experience fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. People with more severe infections may experience high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, occasional convulsions and paralysis. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:
• Reducing exposure, avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
• – Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on small children.