No West Nile Virus in Orange County
In recent local headlines a case of the West Nile virus was discovered in Port Arthur.
However, there are no findings of the virus in Orange County, according to Patrick Beebe, of the Mosquito Control District.
Like those in Jefferson County, Orange County collects mosquitoes in traps for testing of the virus. It was a mosquito carrying the virus and not a person, Beebe said.
“To date all the mosquitoes tested from Orange County have turned up negative,” Beebe said. “There is no indication of viral activity in the area.”
Heavy rains in the area have helped to flush out the type of mosquitoes that transmit the virus, he added.
The virus is transmitted when a bird with the virus is bitten by a mosquito. It then can bite a human or animals and then they can contract the virus.
The West Nile Virus is a potentially serious illness. People typically develop symptoms between three to fourteen days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.
About one in 150 people infected with the virus will develop the severe illness. The severe symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks and the neurological effects may be permanent, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days although even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
In most people there may be no symptoms. In addition, about 80 percent of the people infected with the virus not show any symptoms at all.
People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of the virus. Plus, the more time a person spends outside increases their chance of being bitten by a mosquito with the virus, according the CDC.