With the proliferation of mosquitoes in North Texas, Collin County Health Care Services and Collin County Development Services would like the public to know that they are working together to combat, investigate and educate the public about potential cases of West Nile Virus.
As of July 18, the Collin County Health Department has reported four cases of West Nile Virus in Collin County.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus?
People who develop symptoms from West Nile Virus may have fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, tiredness, and may notice a skin rash on the trunk of the body, according to the Collin County Health Department. Symptoms can last just a few days or a person may be ill for several weeks. Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms is advised to contact their health care provider.
In some individuals, symptoms are severe and they may experience neck stiffness, high fever, headache, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. People over 50 years of age and those who have weakened immune systems have the greatest risk of becoming severely ill if they are infected with West Nile Virus.
The Collin County Health Care Services department recommends "Four Ds" as follows:
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). Be sure to read label instructions. Spray clothing with repellent as well as exposed skin.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, times when infected mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood; old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters are mosquito-breeding sites.
- Residents should continue to follow these recommendations until the first freeze this fall.
Please note that members of the public do not need to report dead birds to the health department. Dead birds can be disposed of by placing in a plastic bag and depositing in the regular trash. Never touch a dead bird with your hands, and always wash your hands after disposing of a dead bird.
"It is important that residents understand that the risk of contracting West Nile may be higher in the fall than in the spring," Collin County nurse epidemiologist Janet Glowicz, said in a news release on the county's website.
"This is because the mosquitoes have been active longer with a greater chance of encountering an infected bird," Glowicz said. "Until the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night consistently, the mosquitoes will continue to pose a risk."
Residents may report standing water, illegal dumping, and increased mosquito activity. Please visit the county's Report a West Nile Virus Concern page for more information.
For additional information about West Nile, please click here.