West Nile reports not completely accurate
Polk County Enterprise, May 2007
LIVINGSTON — Emergency Management Coordinator Kenneth Hambrick told commissioners Tuesday that reports of a case of West Nile Virus in Polk County were not completely accurate.
Lab tests showed that a patient at Memorial Medical Center-Livingston had apparently been bitten by a mosquito infected with the West Nile Virus, but he had not been diagnosed with WNV, Hambrick said.
Privacy regulations prevent discussing the patient's illness, but Hambrick said he suffered from symptoms that also occur with West Nile Virus.
Once someone is bitten by an infected mosquito, they can test positive for WNV for two years, Hambrick said.
West Nile Virus is now permanently established in Texas, state health department officials say.
Polk County has been awarded a grant to aid in mosquito control efforts. Hambrick said his proposed budget has been tentatively approved by state officials and it is awaiting federal review.
In 2006, Polk County had a single case of an infected horse.
In humans, West Nile virus infections usually are mild with flu-like symptoms including
fever, headache, sore throat, body aches and fatigue, occasionally with skin rash
and swollen lymph glands, according to the Texas Department of Health. Symptoms of more severe West Nile infections — encephalitis and meningitis — include headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, coma and paralysis. If you have these symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.