What Is West Nile Virus?

In North Texas, especially in the summer and fall, there's a sickness called West Nile Virus (WNV). Mosquitoes pass on this illness when they bite people. It can be pretty serious.

What Can I Do to Prevent West Nile Virus?

To prevent getting West Nile Virus:

  1. Drain any standing water around your place—like in pet bowls, bird baths, or even in kids' pools when they're not being used.
  2. Use insect repellent with DEET when you're outside.
  3. Avoid being outside during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active.
  4. Dress in long sleeves and pants when you're out. You can also spray your clothes with insect repellent for extra protection. Make sure your windows and doors have good screens to keep mosquitoes out.

What Southlake City does to prevent West Nile Virus:

They treat places in Southlake where they find mosquitoes with the virus. They kill the mosquito larvae in those places. Besides, they actively work to get rid of standing water in public spots and treat areas where water collects.

 Additional Information and Questions
 If you need more details about West Nile Virus, you can check out the information below or visit the Centers for Disease Control website. To reach the City for questions about West Nile Virus, call Amanda Meneses at 817-748-8903.

Symptoms of WNV:

  • No Symptoms: About 80% of infected people won't show any signs.
  • Milder Symptoms:Up to 20% might have milder symptoms, lasting from a few days to several weeks. These include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back.

In rare cases, around 1 in 150 people with West Nile Virus can get seriously ill. These severe symptoms might last for weeks, and some neurological effects could last a long time or even be permanent. The serious symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Being in a daze
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Seizures
  • Weak muscles
  • Losing eyesight
  • Feeling numb
  • Paralysis

West Nile Virus spreads mainly through:

  1. Infected Mosquitoes: When mosquitoes bite infected birds, they can get the virus and pass it on to humans and other animals when they bite.

  2. Rare Cases: In very few cases, it spreads through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding, and even from a pregnant woman to her baby.

  3. Not through Touch: It doesn't spread through casual contact like touching or kissing someone with the virus.

People usually start showing symptoms from 3 to 14 days after getting bitten by an infected mosquito.

There isn't a specific treatment for West Nile Virus. When symptoms are mild, like fever and aches, they usually go away on their own. But even healthy people might feel sick for a few weeks.

For severe cases, people often need to go to the hospital. There, they get supportive treatment like fluids through a vein, help with breathing and nursing care.

If you think you have mild West Nile Virus symptoms, you might not need to see a doctor as these often get better without medical help. However, if you start having severe symptoms like really bad headaches or confusion, it's important to seek medical help right away. Serious cases of WNV often need hospital care. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding and show symptoms that could be West Nile Virus, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor.

What Is the Risk of Getting Sick from WNV?

  • The risk of getting seriously ill from West Nile Virus is higher for people over 50. They should take extra care to avoid mosquito bites.

    If you spend a lot of time outside—whether working or playing—you might have more chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito. So, pay attention to preventing mosquito bites in those situations.

    All donated blood is tested for West Nile Virus before it's used. The chances of getting WNV from blood transfusions or organ transplants are really low. It's not something that should stop people who need surgery. But if you're worried, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor.