Grayson County reports first West Nile Virus death

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SHERMAN, Texas -- The Grayson County Health Department confirmed Friday the county's first death from West Nile virus.

An adult female residing in Grayson County died.

She is the first reported WNV related death in Grayson County since the Grayson County Health Department began reporting human cases of WNV in late 2012.

To help protect the identity of this individual, no further information will be released.

West Nile virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a large majority (70-80 percent) of individuals infected with WNV do not develop symptoms.

An estimated 20 percent of people who become infected with WNV will develop a fever with other possible symptoms such as headache, joint pain, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

Less than 1 percent of individuals infected with WNV will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

Although serious neurologic illness can occur in people of any age, it's individuals older than 60 years of age that are at greatest risk for severe disease, along with those that have medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.

There is no vaccine or medications for humans with WNV.

The Grayson County Health Department recommends remembering to follow the 4 D's: Drain - drain standing water; Dress - wear long sleeves and long pants; DEET - apply insect repellent with DEET; Daily - all day every day.

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