By NewsDesk @bactiman63
Officials with the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department are reporting four new cases of West Nile virus and three new cases of Dengue Fever – two mosquito-borne illnesses that serve as reminders that Hidalgo County is in the middle of mosquito season.
“In many areas of the country, mosquito season is typically during the summer,” said Health and Human Services Director Eduardo Olivarez. “But in South Texas, we see mosquito-borne illnesses more often in October, November and December.”
Olivarez said this makes sense for the Rio Grande Valley because as the weather cools off people have more of a tendency to go outdoors and become targets of mosquitoes.
The West Nile cases were found in the Mercedes, Weslaco and Edinburg areas. Three other cases had been reported a week ago. West Nile is the leading mosquito-borne disease in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no vaccines or medications to treat the disease, but most people infected never show symptoms.
While roughly one in five people infected with West Nile will get sick, an estimated one in four people who get infected with Dengue will get sick, the CDC said. Severe Dengue can be life threatening. The most common symptoms of Dengue are fever, nausea, vomiting, rash as well as aches and pains.
To protect yourself against either West Nile or Dengue, you must protect yourselves against mosquitoes. People should wear long sleeve shirts and pants while outdoors and should also avoid standing water. There is larvicide available at local stores to treat yards. In addition, the county, in conjunction with cities, has begun treatment efforts.
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