By David Kapitan
Wills Point officials were notified late last week that the city had its first confirmed case of the West Nile Virus in the city.
George Bailey, a 71-year-old resident, has been recovering for several weeks after dealing with weakness brought on by the virus.
Bailey’s daughter, Sherry Walker, advised on Wednesday that her father had been admitted and released from the hospital previously after exhibiting signs of fatigue and sluggishness. The symptoms persisted, prompting a second trip to the hospital, and testing that confirmed positive for the West Nile Virus.
Dr. J.W. Dailey, Van Zandt County Public Health Officer, stated, “The West Nile Virus generally affects older people and people with compromised immune systems worse than the general population. There’s been a lot of stories and coverage about the West Nile Virus in the Dallas area, but there are cases here in Van Zandt County.”
Symptoms According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
No Symptoms –Approximately 80 percent of people (about four out of five) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Milder Symptoms – Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
Serious Symptoms – About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued these tips to lower exposure risk to the West Nile Virus:
-Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
-Regularly drain standing water, including water collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
-Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
-Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
To help combat the threat of West Nile and mosquitoes, the city of Wills Point provides residents with a free package of Mosquito Dunks.
The product can be placed in places were water collects to organically kill mosquito larvae for 30 days or more.
West Nile Case Confirmed In Wills Point
By David Kapitan