Third Human Case of West Nile Confirmed in Lubbock County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/29/03

Third Human Case of West Nile Confirmed in Lubbock County

The City of Lubbock Health Department now reports a third confirmed human West Nile Virus case in Lubbock. The third case lives within city limits and is recovering. The case is over 40. The WNV cases in Lubbock range in age from a child under 16 to one over 60 years of age. A fourth suspect case is currently being investigated in a female in her early 20's.

Learn More About the West Nile Virus
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West Nile Virus is now an established threat to humans, horses and birds in the Lubbock area, and residents need to take precautions to prevent being bitten mosquitoes.

Vector Control staff have been spraying for mosquitoes for several weeks and have increased targeted spraying around areas where WNV has been detected. WNV is a disease of birds. Humans and horses get exposed to the virus when they are bitten by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. The infected mosquitoes become the link (vector) that spreads the disease from birds to man or horse through a mosquito bite.

WNV cannot be spread from bird to man, horse to man or person-to-person. Few mosquitoes are infected with WNV, and less than 1% of people who get bitten and become ill will get severely ill (1 out of 150). There is no cure for WNV so preventing mosquito bites is the only assurance of becoming ill with this disease.

City of Lubbock Mosquito Hotline
The City of Lubbock has created what they call a 'Mosquito Hotline'.
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Severe WNV illness can have long-term effects. Symptoms of WVN can be mild to severe, starting with:fever, and any of the following:

  • Weakness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Eye Pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches
  • Rash
  • Swollen Glands

The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing severe WNV symptoms. Symptoms can develop within 3 to 14 days and can last from 3 to 6 days.

Prevention is key in eliminating the risk of exposure to mosquitoes. The Health Department Vector Control has increased spraying activities in the City. Citizens can further reduce exposure with the following activities:

Personal Protection Activities: Key Words - Dawn and Dusk, DEET, Drain, Dress:

1. Avoid being out when mosquitoes feed usually at Dawn and Dusk.

2. Wear protective clothing. Long sleeves and pants when outdoors. (DRESS)

3. Use appropriate repellant and according to instructions on the label. Spray clothing with repellent as mosquitoes can bite through thin fabric. Apply repellent to exposed skin. CDC guidelines recommend repellents containing up to 35% DEET for adults, up to 10% DEET for children. Repellents can irritate the eyes and mouth so avoid applying to children's hands.

Protecting the Home:

1. Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes from indoors.

2. Get rid of standing water around the house. Mosquitoes need water to breed. Empty plant saucers, pet dishes, and any containers, such as old tires that have collected water. Change the water in kiddie pools and birdbaths daily. (DRAIN)

3. Keep yard mowed. Mosquitoes hide in tall brush and grasses.

4. Residents are asked to report dead birds by calling the Mosquito Hotline at (806) 775-3110.

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