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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Simple steps can protect your family from West Nile

 

BY VALERIE REDDELL
Editor
polknews@gmail.com

LIVINGSTON — The latestreports from the Texas Divisionof Emergency show that 31 casesof West Nile Fever (WNF) andWest Nile Neuroinvasive Disease(WNND) in Region 2, which includesPolk County and roughlytakes in the area from Houstonand along the coast to Beaumontand north to Lufkin.Currently, there are no reportedcases in Polk County, but therehave been six cases of human(WNND) in Angelina County andone case of West Nile Fever.Trinity County has one reportedcase of West Nile Fever, as doesLiberty County.Montgomery County has onecase of WWND and one of WNF.Nim Kidd, Chief of the TexasDivision Emergency Managementurges anyone participating inoutdoor activities to always usemosquito repellent containingDEET and follow label directionsregarding the proper use.“Infected mosquitoes are mostactive at dusk and dawn, dressin long sleeves and pants whenoutside,” Kidd said in his mostrecent situation report.However, for those who are bittenby infected mosquitoes, theCenters for Disease Control saysabout 4 out of 5 people will notshow any symptoms even thoughthey are invested with West NileVirus.About 20 percent show mildsymptoms such as fever, headacheand body aches and sometimesthey have swollen lymphglands or a skin rash on the chest,stomach and back.Symptoms can last for a fewdays, but some people are sick forseveral weeks, the CDC says.Unfortunately, about one in150 people become seriously ill.Often these people are elderly,suffer from a chronic illness orhad some other pre-existing conditionthat made them more vulnerable.Severe symptoms include: highfever, headache, stupor, coma,convulsions, muscle weakness,vision loss, numbness and paralysis.Neurological effects may lastseveral weeks or permanently.There is no specific treatmentfor West Nile Virus other thansupportive treatment such as intravenousfluids, help with breathingand nursing care.Milder symptoms such as feverand aches pass on their own.The best way to protect yourfamily from West Nile Virus byremoving standing water or otherpotential mosquito breeding areasfrom around your home. If youfind a dead bird, do not handle itwith your bare hands.Contact local emergency managementor health departmentofficials for instructions on reportingand proper disposal of thebody

 

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