ANGLETON — A Brazosport-area senior died earlier this month of West Nile virus, the first county death connected to the disease this year, county health officials said Friday.
The victim resided in the 77531 zip code and had other health problems, according to a county news release. No other information about the victim would be released because of confidentiality laws, the release states.
“There were underlying medical issues that made the West Nile more severe,” Assistant District Attorney Mary Shine said.
County officials announced Thursday that mosquitoes from three traps West of the Brazos tested positive for West Nile. Two of the traps were in the Wild Peach area and the third was in the Sweeny area. Mosquito Control planned to spray twice nightly in those areas for three days and then retest mosquitoes from the traps.
The Texas Department of State Health Services showed no previously-confirmed human cases of West Nile this year in Brazoria County. The state agency’s website does not provide an exact number of cases, but indicates the county has had between 51 and 100 cases since it started tracking West Nile in 2002.
West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While everyone is at risk of being affected, people age 50 and older are more likely to become seriously ill from the infection. The majority of people infected never realize the have the disease, health officials have said.
Symptoms of West Nile infection include flu-like illness, with moderate to high fever (102 degrees or more), severe headache, severe muscle ache or joint pain, severe eye pain, mental changes, fatigue, nausea and respiratory symptoms. People with symptoms should check with their physician.
Severe West Nile Virus infections can cause neurologic complications. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus.
Brazoria County Health Department reminds residents to take personal protective measures to safeguard against West Nile Virus. Residents should use the following methods to reduce their risk:
Use Repellant with DEET: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions;
Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside;
Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace; and
Dusk and Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
From Facts staff reports