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April 18, 2013

County reports first 2013 West Nile case

GREENVILLE — Hunt County has already reported its first case of a human infected with the West Nile virus.

A girl living in the area around Granger and Wesley streets in Greenville was the victim. Her condition was not known Wednesday, but it was not a fatal case, according to the Hunt County Health Department.

Hunt County had 15 cases of people infected with the West Nile virus last summer, with no fatalities.

The Greenville Parks and Recreation Department has not yet started spraying for mosquitoes.

The city of Greenville has also established a web page concerning mosquito control at www.ci.greenville.tx.us/FightTheBite.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that most people infected with West Nile virus will not have any signs of illness, while 20 percent of people who become infected will have mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

However, the symptoms of severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

Only about one out of 150 people infected with West Nile virus usually develops the severe form of the disease, Nicholson said one hospital in Garland has reported a surge in the number of recent severe cases.

The state agency recommends taking the following steps to help reduce the risk of West Nile:

— Use an insect repellent containing DEET when going outdoors and stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active.

— Get rid of any standing water, change the water in bird baths as well as remove old tires or anything which can collect water.

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