The Texas Department of Health has confirmed that a Gregg County resident has contracted the West Nile virus. The unidentified victim remains in a Longview hospital.
Specific information regarding the individual and their medical condition is not available for release due to privacy concerns. West Nile virus rarely kills, and in fact most infected people show no symptoms and thus go uncounted.
Although illness from West Nile virus is usually mild, Centers for Disease Control experts state that serious illness and death are possible, particularly for persons over the age of 50.
Symptoms for West Nile encephalitis or meningitis include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation and sometimes paralysis. According to CDC, only about 1 in 150 people who get the virus will develop encephalitis or meningitis.
Bob Hallmark, reporting.