Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for the 2016 season.
The case is from Bedford and is the severe form — West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Additional details are not being released to protect the identity of the patient.
In 2015, TCPH reported its first human case on July 31. For the entire 2015 season, TCPH reported 30 human cases of West Nile disease — including two human deaths.
The mild form of the disease is commonly referred to as West Nile Fever. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. People typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks.
The more severe form is often referred to as West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Symptoms include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. This form of the disease can be deadly.
In addition, TCPH has identified two new imported cases of Zika virus in the county – raising the total number to 11. Local transmission has not been detected and surveillance continues.
The first patient traveled to Jamaica. The CDC received, tested and confirmed the sample.
The second patient traveled to St. Lucia. A private laboratory received, tested and confirmed the sample.
TCPH has confirmed samples from the following countries: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras (3), Jamaica, Puerto Rico (2), St. Lucia (2) and St. Martin. All areas have known local transmission of the disease. No other health information will be released at this time to protect the identity of the patients.
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter. Sexual transmission has been reported in a small number of cases. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days.
Weather permitting; TCPH will begin ground spraying efforts Friday, July 15. Ground spraying will start at 9 p.m. and conclude by 5 a.m. the following morning.