Confirmed case of St. Louis Encephalitis in Lubbock County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/12/10

Confirmed case of St. Louis Encephalitis in Lubbock County

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock Health Department has received the first confirmed human case of St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) for 2010 and continues to receive reports of West Nile virus (WNV) in Lubbock County.

This is the first case of SLEV reported in Lubbock County since 2004. St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and West Nile virus (WNV) are both spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. Anyone bitten by a mosquito in Lubbock County where the viruses are now circulating can get infected with SLEV or WNV.

Symptoms of WNV and SLEV can be mild to severe, starting with fever, and any of the following: weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, headache, muscle aches, swollen glands, rash, stiff neck, disorientation, and altered level of consciousness. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing severe WNV and SLEV symptoms. Symptoms can develop within 3 to 15 days. Although temperatures are cooler now, mosquitoes will remain and be active until the first frost in our community. So, please use preventive measures to avoid contracting these diseases. Citizens can reduce mosquito exposure and disease risk by following these proven guidelines:

Remember the 4 Ds when enjoying outdoor activities - Dawn & Dusk, DEET, Drain, Dress:

  • Avoid being out when mosquitoes feed - especially at DAWN and DUSK.
  • Wear protective clothing. Long sleeves and pants when outdoors. (DRESS)
  • Use repellents according to instructions on the label (DEET). Spray outer clothing with repellent; mosquitoes can bite through thin fabric. Apply repellent to exposed skin. Repellents can irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying to children's hands.
  • Avoid use of perfume and other scented cosmetics - they attract mosquitoes.

Protect Your Home and work areas:

  • Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of standing water around the area. Mosquitoes need water to breed. Empty plant saucers, pet dishes, and other containers, such as old tires, that have collected water. Change the water in kiddie pools and birdbaths daily. (DRAIN)
  • Keep yard and alley mowed. Mosquitoes hide in tall brush and grasses.

Consult your physician for any illness that you suspect may be "West Nile Virus or SLEV".

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