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Protect yourself from West Nile Virus

  • Published
  • By TSgt Sophia Young
  • 82 AMDS/SGPM (Public Health)
The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed that pools of mosquitoes from 5 separate areas around Wichita Falls have tested positive for West Nile virus. The mosquitoes were collected between July 10 and August 7, 2012 from mosquito traps placed in Wichita Falls as part of a routine surveillance program. The distribution of the tested mosquitoes is widespread throughout the area. At this time, there have been NO positive vectors found on Sheppard AFB.

The Health District reminds citizens that the best way to avoid mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus is to practice the Four D's:
1. DUSK and DAWN are the times of day you should try to stay indoors, because mosquitoes are most active.
2. DRESS in long sleeves and pants when you are outside.
3. DEET is an ingredient to look for in insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors.
4. DRAIN standing water in your yard and neighborhood where mosquitoes can breed. This includes old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, etc.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease. However, only about one out of 150 people infected with the West Nile Virus will develop severe illness. Most people who are infected with the virus will not have any type of illness or may experience mild fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering. Please contact your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described. It is also important to note that West Nile Virus is NOT transmitted person to person.

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District has received confirmed laboratory reports of three human cases of West Nile Virus in Wichita Falls. Cases are males in their late 20's and early 30's. There have been NO human cases on Sheppard AFB.

For additional information, you may contact the Public Health at 676-7837/7838 or visit the CDC website at