Two Case of Human West Nile Virus Confirmed

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District confirmed two human cases of West Nile

Virus in Wichita Falls.

 

The first, a 48-year-old man, tested positive and was this year's first case of WNV in the city.

The man was rushed to the emergency room at United Regional Hospital on Friday, after officials say he reportedly didn't feel well, according to health officials. The man is still at the hospital where officials said he is currently in stable condition.

A second case of West Nile has been confirmed by Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District for a 19-year-old-man. His current condition is unknown.

“This is the peak West Nile season, so to speak, for Wichita Falls,” said Lou Kreidler, Director of Health for Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District. “We generally see West Nile anywhere from the middle of September through October.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected over the age of 50 will have the highest risk of severe disease.  West Nile can cause meningitis and encephalitis. The virus can cause inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. However, only about one in 150 people infected with the virus will develop severe illness. 

Nearly 80 percent of people who are infected will not experience any type of illness.  Some people might experience mild fever, headache, and body aches before fully recovering. 


“Most people who will have a mild case of flu like symptoms and they won't even really realize that they have anything going on,” said Lou Kreidler, Director of Health.

Please contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described. 

“People go to the doctor at different times so it may be that, that person had been achy and sick awhile and then they do lab work and discover that they have West Nile or they end up in the hospital and they're very sick and we find out that way,” said Kreidler.

It is also important to note that West Nile Virus is not casually transmitted from person to person.

Additionally, the Environmental Health Division has confirmed that two mosquito samples in Wichita Falls have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.  

To reduce the risk of illness, the Environmental Health Division will continue with mosquito control measures.  This includes testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus, spraying for adult mosquitoes, and treating standing water to eliminate breeding areas.

The Health District also reminds citizens that the best way to avoid mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus is to practice the Four D's:

1. Dusk and dawn are the times of day you should try to stay indoors, because mosquitoes are most active.

2. Dress in long sleeves and pants when you are outside. 

3. DEET is an ingredient to look for in insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors.

4. Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood where mosquitoes can breed. This includes old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, etc. 

For questions about West Nile Virus call (940) 761-7848, (940) 761-6808 or visit the 
CDC website.

To request spraying for adult mosquitoes, please call (940) 761-7890.  


Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6