Authorities confirm West Nile Virus active in Lubbock County
LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - The Biological Threat Research Lab at Texas Tech University notified Lubbock Public Health that mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) are active in Lubbock County. This notification means there is a risk of contracting WNV if bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Everyone is encouraged to reduce mosquito bites, especially as we prepare for outdoor activities associated with the 4th of July holiday. In response to this notification, vector control will increase spraying in the community.
WNV is a disease of birds. Humans are exposed to the virus when they are bitten by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. The infected mosquitoes become the link (vector) that spreads the disease from birds to humans through a mosquito bite. The disease cannot be spread person to person.
Symptoms can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea, and fatigue. People will typically recover on their own. Some central nervous system infections may develop, and few will experience additional symptoms of 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.
There are no medications to treat or vaccines to protect against these infections. People over 50 years old and those with other health issues are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. If people have symptoms and suspect West Nile virus infection, they should contact their healthcare provider.
It is important for individuals to continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites. These include:
- Wearing an EPA registered insect repellant
- Covering up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Keeping mosquitoes out of living areas by using air conditioning or intact window screens
- Limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times
- Dumping standing water around your home
For more information on West Nile Virus visit the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
Copyright 2023 KCBD. All rights reserved. The above information was provided by Lubbock Public Health.