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Galveston health officials issue warning after woman tests positive for West Nile virus

The case appears to be the first one since 2021, according to the Galveston County Health District.

GALVESTON, Texas — Health officials are issuing another warning after a woman tested positive for West Nile virus in Galveston.

Officials said a woman in her 60s, who is a Galveston County resident, was confirmed to have the virus on Monday.

The confirmed case appears to be the first one since five cases were confirmed in 2021, according to the Galveston County Health District. Officials aren't sure how the woman contracted the virus but urged residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

The health district said most individuals exposed to West Nile do not become ill, but that 20% develop symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. People over 60 years old are also more likely to develop symptoms.

WATCH: Why mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others

Less than 1% of cases lead to the more severe West Nile neuroinvasive disease that can cause neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and even death.

There are no medications or vaccines to treat West Nile virus. Health officials urge you to contact your doctor if you feel you were exposed to mosquitos recently and start experiencing symptoms.

How to repel and prevent mosquito bites:

  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Apply an EPA-registered mosquito repellent containing products such as DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
  • Eliminate standing water in bird feeders, water bowls for pets, potted plants, wading pools and other children’s toys.
  • Regularly clean debris in gutters that provide moisture and harborage.

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