DALLAS (KXAN) — The first 2022 case of West Nile disease in Texas has been reported in Dallas County, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Tuesday.
The virus that causes the disease is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes, and only about 20% of people ever develop flu-like symptoms after being bitten, DSHS said.
In less than 1% of people exposed to the virus, neuroinvasive disease develops, and DSHS officials said it developed in the state’s first case. Symptoms of that include neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and in extreme cases, death.
Protect yourself against possible West Nile exposure by wearing long sleeve shirts and pants while outdoors, applying insect repellant with DEET, picaridin, IR353, lemon eucalyptus oil, para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone, and removing standing water from your property, DSHS said.
The state said there were 112 cases of West Nile last year in Texas with 14 deaths. Over the past five years, Texas reported 547 cases with 61 deaths. Typically, DSHS said, mosquitoes will be active from now until the end of the year.