A 19-year-old man, a college student, has been confirmed positive for the mosquito borne virus, West Nile virus (WNV), according to a report in the Times Record News today and retweeted by the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District (WFWCPHD).
According to WFWCPHD director, Lou Kreidler, the patient presented signs and symptoms of West Nile virus before he returned to Wichita Falls earlier this month. WNV was confirmed on Wednesday. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
“We were surprised we had a West Nile (case), one, this early in the year, and, two, we’ve seen very few mosquitoes because of the drought,” she said, adding that it’s been too windy and dry for the mosquito population to be prevalent and a nuisance. “We’re not getting any mosquito complaints. We’re setting traps out, and we’re not getting any mosquitoes in our traps.”
West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
It was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States and Canada.
Most people get infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals.
In a very small number of cases, West Nile virus has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding, according to the CDC.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,374 WNV cases and 114 deaths in 2013. This was a far cry from the 2012 outbreak that had a final total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths.