Case of West Nile reported in Gregg County

Case of West Nile reported in Gregg County

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease has been reported in Gregg County.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 215 cases of West Nile in the state - 69 of those cases are West Nile fever and 146 of those cases are West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

Earlier this month, Smith County reported its third case of West Nile. Other East Texas counties that have reported cases of West Nile to the state include Bowie, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Titus, Van Zandt and Wood counties.

Since the start of the year, at least 10 deaths in the state have been associated with West Nile.

People can reduce their risk of exposure to the mosquito-borne virus that causes it by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas and avoiding mosquito bites.

The symptoms of West Nile neuroinvasive disease - a severe form of the infection -  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 develop the neuroinvasive disease, the DSHS reports.

In 2015, there were 275 cases of West Nile in the state, including 16 deaths.

Residents are encouraged to use the 4 Ds to optimize protection from mosquitoes:

  • Deet: use insect repellent while outdoors at all times to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Dress: wear long, loose and light-colored clothing – including pants and long sleeves.
  • Drain: drain all standing water in and around the home and office.
  • Dusk and Dawn: limit outdoor activities during the dusk and dawn hours as mosquitoes are most active during those times.

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