Health

Second West Nile Virus case confirmed in Montgomery County

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Officials with Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack’s office have confirmed Tuesday a second person has contracted the West Nile Virus in Montgomery County.

Andy Dubois, a spokesman for Noack’s office, said the unidentified man who is in his 60s currently hospitalized with a diagnosis of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease.

“Our office is working diligently to minimize the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness,” Noack said in a press release. “The Mosquito Abatement Team is coordinating with the Montgomery County Public Health District on this treatment effort.”


For more Mosquito Information

* Residents are encouraged to check the treatment activity map at Precinct3.org/mosquitoabatement/ or for more information on the mosquito abatement program call (281) 364-4203.


In early July, Noack announced at a press conference that there had been 38 positive tests for West Nile Virus in mosquitoes captured in Southern Montgomery County. In mid-July, officials with the Montgomery County Public Health District reported the first official, confirmed case of a human contracting the virus in the county.


That person, who was described by health officials as a male in his 40s, was eventually discharged from the hospital after receiving treatments. He was described as the time as in recovery.

After the 38 positive tests in mosquitoes for West Nile virus in June and early July, Montgomery County residents were urged to take extra precaution to avoid being bitten. A total of 28 of the mosquitoes with the virus were found in The Woodlands.

“(This) puts us on track for one of the worst seasons we’ve had since 2014,” Noack said during a July 6 press conference annoucing the results. “In 2014, the severity of not only infections within the mosquito population (was high) but we also set a high for the number of individual patients that had West Nile.”

In 2014, according to county officials, 31 people contracted the virus in Montgomery County.

Noack and other county health officials have been encouraging county residents for months to take preventative measures against both being bitten by mosquitoes as well as preventing mosquito population growth.

According to information provided by MCPHD to the Villager for previous articles, West Nile virus infection 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms, but there is no way to know in advance if the person will develop the illness or not.

“Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back,” officials with the MCPHD reported in a press release. “These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Serious symptoms that account for less than one percent 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.”

Noack started a Mosquito Abatement Team earlier this year, the members of which spray property around South Montgomery County to treat for mosquitoes and also trap mosquitoes for disease testing. The workers target various spots within the county.

In prior press releases and at press conferences on the subject, officials offered the following tips to reduce the chance of mosquito bites:

* Use insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products and follow their directions for use.

* Weather permitting, wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors.

* Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. It is good to consider staying indoors during these hours.

* Empty any standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, birdbaths and any other items holding water on a regular basis.

* Install or repair screen on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside and use air-conditioning if available.

— Some information in this article was derived from a press release. Staff Writers Patricia Dillon and Jennifer Summer also contributed to this report.


jeff.forward@chron.com

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