Several East Texans Have Tested Positive for West Nile - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/08/06 - Angelina County

Several East Texans Have Tested Positive for West Nile

by Ramonica R. Jones

Nobody has died from West Nile virus in Angelina County this year, but that doesn't mean the virus is not here.

Stephenie Mason, Infectious Disease Surveillance Nurse for the Angelina County & Cities Health District, said, "In the month of August we've had eight confirmed cases, and actually in the last two days, we have two pending cases."

West Nile virus has many symptoms, but most people infected will not have any signs of illness. Twenty percent of patients will have fever, headaches, body aches, and occasionally a skin rash. If you have any of these symptoms or feel like you're getting the flu, go see your doctor just in case - especially if you've been bitten by a mosquito."

"We update our physicians when we're having any kind of outbreaks or increase in numbers. They're aware of what's going on in Angelina County. They can order a blood test and then send you [to the ACCHD] and we can draw your blood and send it straight to the state lab."

West Nile is not always deadly, but you should always try to avoid mosquito bites. Wearing insect repellant with DEET is the most important thing to do if you're going to be outside. Stay indoors during dusk or dawn, when mosquitos are most active. Drain any standing water around your home because it attracts mosquitos.

Symptoms of mild West Nile virus may last a few days. Symptoms of severe infection may last several weeks and damage can be permanent. Only one out of 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease.

For more information about West Nile, go to www.tdh.state.tx.us or www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm.

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