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Second case of West Nile confirmed in Austin

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by Katy McElroy

The city has seen its second case of West Nile virus this summer, Austin Public Health confirmed in a statement released yesterday. West Nile is transmitted through mosquito bites; the department shared that two mosquito samples from traps set in the Barton Creek Greenbelt area also tested positive for the virus. The virus is endemic to the area – last year Texas saw 135 cases, including six deaths. This year’s first case in Austin was confirmed on July 17.  Wearing clothing that completely covers the skin and using EPA-approved insect repellents that contain DEET can help prevent mosquito bites. Symptoms don’t always occur with West Nile infection, but they can include fever, body aches, headache, rash, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. While symptoms related to infection usually pass within a few days, some people have reported them lasting several weeks, requiring medical attention. Severe disease after infection is rare – the most significant risk factor is advanced age. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, even in an amount as small as a teaspoon, so the department reminds all residents to make sure to drain outside containers, fix leaky pipes and faucets, and clean gutters.

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