South Texas border county reports three cases of West Nile virus


EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO)—Hidalgo County officials confirmed on Monday that there are three cases of West Nile Virus in the city of Mercedes and Weslaco.

The virus is the leading mosquito-borne disease in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People typically get the disease after being bitten by infected mosquitoes.

Hidalgo county officials say there are no vaccines to prevent the disease or medicines to treat it, and most people who get infected never even show symptoms of the disease.

Only one in five people ever develop symptoms, such as a fever, according to the CDC.

One in 150 people may develop more serious symptoms and the disease can occasionally be fatal, the CDC said.

County health officials will begin vector control in the affected areas and they are investigating whether any of these cases are travel-related.

Health and Human Services Director Eduardo Olivarez says there are several preventive measures that Hidalgo County residents can take to guard against contracting West Nile virus. This includes:

  • Apply repellent when going outdoors.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when going outdoors
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes outdoors and indoors, including getting rid of any standing water by frequently checking objects in the yard that can collect water including tires, buckets, planters and toys.

For more information on the virus click here.

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