The City of Midland Health Services Department has confirmed West Nile Virus in the Midland County mosquito population. Midland Health Services places mosquito traps throughout the county and sends the sample to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). After the most recent test, the DSHS notified the City that one of the mosquitoes tested positive for WNV.
Steps to reduce mosquito bites include:
- Wearing an EPA-registered insect repellent
- Covering up with long-sleeves and pants
- Keeping mosquitoes out of living areas by using air conditioning or intact window screens
- Limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times (sunrise and sunset)
- Dumping standing water around your home
Humans are exposed to WNV when they are bitten by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then spread the disease to humans through a mosquito bite, a news release said. These diseases cannot be spread person-to-person.
Eighty-percent of those who are infected show no symptoms at all. For people who do develop symptoms, they can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea, and fatigue. About 1 in 150 people may develop central nervous system infections and can experience additional symptoms of neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
While there are no medications to treat or vaccines for these infections, the release said, for most symptomatic individuals rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications will relieve their symptoms. People over 50 years old and those with other health issues are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. If people have symptoms and suspect West Nile virus infection, they should contact their healthcare provider and inform them of previous mosquito exposure.
To date, Texas has seen one human case this year of West Nile Virus which was in Dallas County.
For more information on the West Nile virus visit the DSHS website.