FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Two confirmed human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to Fort Bend County Health & Human Services this week.
One case required hospitalization and both individuals are recovering. Additional details about the individual cases are not being released to protect personal identities. To date there have been no deaths in Fort Bend County due to West Nile virus.
Health officials wanted to remind residents to take the proper precautions and stay protected by following the "4D's":
DUSK/DAWN are the times of day you should try to stay indoors. This is when infected mosquitoes are most active.
DRESS in long sleeves and pants when you're outside. For extra protection, you may want to spray thin clothing with repellent.
DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors. Reapply as you would with suncreen, after sweating and swimming.
DRAIN standing water in your backyard and neighborhood - old tires, flowerpots, and clogged rain gutters. These are mosquito-breeding sites.
Symptoms of the milder form of illness, West Nile fever, can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue.
People with West Nile fever typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks.
Symptoms of the more serious form of illness, West Nile neuroinvasive disease, can include those of West Nile fever plus neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. Up to 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are currently no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection.
People over 50 years old and those with other health issues are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying when they become infected with the virus.
If people have symptoms and suspect West Nile virus infection, they should contact their healthcare provider.