West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is a disease that spreads from birds to humans through infected mosquitoes. Cases have been reported throughout North Texas as well as most of the United States.
Close-up picture of a mosquito on a person's finger.
View the update presentation from April 18, 2013
Reducing the mosquito population and your risk of being bitten by them is the best way to prevent infection. Follow these steps to protect yourself and those in your home:
- Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
- Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.
- Wear long sleeves and pants to leave less of your skin exposed. Spraying clothing with permethrin provides extra protection.
- Remove mosquito habitats from your property. Drain standing water where can mosquitoes breed, and maintain your swimming pool. Any amount of standing water can give mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. The city is calling on residents to help control mosquito population by working with your neighbors to find standing water.
For more information on ways to protect yourself, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
In 2012, more than 70 percent of West Nile Virus victims did not use repellents. Visit the CDC website to learn more about mosquito repellents.
Tarrant County Public Health partners with area cities to provide surveillance and lab testing of mosquitoes.
Visit the Tarrant County Public Health site for more information.
Educate your neighbors, classroom or workplace with this printable information:
Most people infected with West Nile experience no symptoms, but a small number of people (about 1 in 150) develop a severe form known as West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis, an inflamation around the brain which can cause permanent neurological effects and death.
People over age 50 and those who have received an organ transplant are most likely to develop serious symptoms if infected.
Though most people infected with West Nile Virus do not show symptoms, some have experienced:
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph glands
- Skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
Symptoms can last a few days to several weeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
Individuals who develop the more severe West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis also experience:
- Mental confusion
- Muscle weakness
- Tremors (shaking)
Find out more about the West Nile Virus through your health care provider, or use the resources available on these government public health sites:
- Tarrant County Public Health
- Department of State Health Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention