First West Nile Virus Cases Reported

AUSTIN July 20, 2018 ⎯ Health officials in Galveston county and Austin have each confirmed one case of West Nile fever, and Dallas county health officials reported a case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said.

No deaths have been reported, officials say.

Last year, Texas reported 135 cases of West Nile illness and six deaths, DSHS said. There have been more than 3,500 illnesses and 167 deaths in Texas over the last 10 years, including 1,868 cases and 89 deaths in 2012.

Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus to humans and animals

To help keep your community safe, remind patients to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and to reduce mosquito populations, such as: 

  • Regularly applying EPA-registered insect repellent while outdoors;
  • Dumping out all standing water inside and outside homes and businesses so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs;
  • Using air-conditioning or making sure window and door screens are in good repair to keep mosquitoes out; and
  • Covering up with long sleeves and long pants to help prevent bites.  

Symptoms of West Nile fever include a fever that can be accompanied by headache, muscle and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. Symptoms of the more severe West Nile neuroinvasive disease, which infects the nervous system, can include those of West Nile fever plus neck stiffness, muscle weakness, vision loss, tremors, convulsions, disorientation, coma, and paralysis, officials said.

More information on the virus can be found at And be sure to check out the June issue of Texas Medicine magazine, which takes an in-depth look at vector-borne diseases in the Lone Star State.

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