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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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West Nile virus detected in Brazos County

Photo via WikiCommons/JJ Harrison

The Brazos County Health District has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in the area.

In a July 5 press release, the Brazos County Health District confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus, or WNV, in the county that includes Texas A&M and Bryan-College Station.

“There were [WNV-positive] mosquitoes from a trap located in the 77803 zip code of Bryan in the weekly surveillance,” the release stated. “Please keep in mind that all of Brazos County should be considered positive for WNV and residents should continue to take the necessary steps to reduce exposure to mosquitoes.”

According to the Health District, about 20% of those who contract WNV will develop symptoms such as headache, fever, body aches, joint pains, nausea, and fatigue. Some of those experiencing symptoms will progress into a more serious condition.

“About one out of 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop the more severe

form of the disease … which may affect the brain and spinal cord,” the release stated. “The signs and symptoms of severe disease may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness [and] paralysis.”

The disease will linger without signs for a short period after infection before displaying symptoms, the Health District said.

“The incubation period of West Nile virus in humans is two to 14 days,” the release stated. “Signs and symptoms of mild disease may last a few days. Signs and symptoms of severe disease may last several weeks or months, although neurological effects may be permanent. Rarely, death can occur. There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection.”

The Health District urged Brazos County residents to take four precautions to minimize exposure to mosquitoes carrying WNV.

  • DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever outside, use insect repellents with the active ingredient DEET or other EPA-registered repellents and always follow label instructions.

  • Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.

  • Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.

  • All Day Long: Day, Dusk and Dawn – Limit your time outdoors, mosquitoes are active any time, day or night.

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