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First West Nile virus death reported in Montgomery County in 2022, health department confirms

The individual was a man in his 70s whose positive case was confirmed Wednesday by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Montgomery County reported its first 2022 West Nile death on Thursday.

The individual was a man in his 70s whose positive case was confirmed on Wednesday by the Texas Department of State Health Services. His case was the first West Nile case reported in Montgomery County this year.

Last year, the Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed two total cases of the West Nile virus in the fall and winter of 2021. 

His case was confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services on Wednesday. He was the first reported West Nile case in Montgomery County this year, the health department said. 

Last year, Montgomery County had two confirmed cases of West Nile virus. One of those individuals died from the virus.

What is West Nile virus?

According to the Montgomery County Public Health District:

West Nile virus can cause serious disease and is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten. According to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop the illness.

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West Nile virus symptoms

Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Serious symptoms that account for less than 1% of those infected can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. These symptoms can last for several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.

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If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. The majority of milder WNV illnesses improve on their own.

According to the CDC, the most effective way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Avoid bites by using insect repellants, wearing protective clothing when outdoors and emptying standing water outside of your home.

For more information on WNV, click here.

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