News & Notes Search

West Nile Virus update

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 82d AMDS Public Health Flight
The Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory has confirmed a pool of mosquitoes from Wichita Falls has tested positive for West Nile Virus.  It is essential for Team Sheppard to be properly informed about this illness and that everyone understands the precautions necessary to prevent this disease.

WNV is transmitted through the bites of infective mosquitoes, only some mosquito species can carry the virus.  Moreover, only 20 percent of people infected with the virus will develop any noticeable symptoms. 

If symptoms develop, they will occur approximately 3-14 days after being bitten.  Symptoms are similar to flu infections and can include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and skin rash.

There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment to combat WNV infections.  Treatment is centered on symptom relief with over-the-counter pain relievers which also reduce fever.  Supportive treatment will also focus on the replenishment of body fluids.

*** There is no need to panic. WNV among mosquitoes is endemic throughout Texas, meaning very common, and mosquitoes have tested positive in the local area in previous years. However, be extra vigilant in preventing mosquito bites. ***

Every individual should take responsibility when it comes to combating WNV infections.  The most effective measure to prevent the disease is focus on the following:

· Use insect repellents containing DEET.  Products with DEET can be purchased at your local store (Base Exchange, Commissary, etc.)
· Avoid dusk and dawn, as these are the times mosquitos are more active
· Wear protective clothing when outdoors such as long sleeves and pants
· Removal of standing water in your surrounding area as they can be breeding areas for mosquitoes (i.e. old tires, clogged gutter and drains, flower pots and pet dishes)
· Install or repair broken and torn screens around windows and doors

The 82d AMDS Public Health Flight stands ready and prepared for the threats posed by WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases.

For more information on WNV, please contact the 82d AMDS Public Health Flight at 676-1874/3052 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at: