More confirmed cases of West Nile in N. Texas

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

SHERMAN, TX -- Wednesday, Grayson County confirmed it's first case of West Nile, and now, we learn the disease has hit two other Texoma counties.

The Texas Department of State Health Services can only conifrm two cases in Cooke County. But one Fannin County woman was told she had west nile after she'd given blood.

The disease was found during routine tests done on every blood donation.

35-year-old Fannin County resident, Heather Thompson, was shocked when she was told her blood couldn't be used because she'd tested positive for West Nile virus.

"I mean you see it on the news everyday, and you never think its going to happen. And then you know you get a phone call and all of a sudden its 'I'm worried.' So we'll definitely take more cautions," said Thompson.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the one report out of Fannin County was a blood donor who tested positive for the West Nile virus.

"Every year when we have West Nile cases like this year, you will hear and read about young adults, healthy young adults, teenagers, people in their 20s and 30s. [...] So it can affect and make people quite sick even if they're young and healthy," said John Teel, Director of Health for the Grayson County Health Department.

Grayson County Health Department explains that chances of getting West Nile are about 1 in 300. Most people who're bitten will not even show signs of the virus.

"It has everything to do with our immune system, so typically as we age, not always, but as we age our immune system typically is not as strong, not as robust as when we were younger. And so this virus and can spread and replicate more swiflty in our tissues," said Teel.

Thompson says she still has loss of appetite and some flu-like symptoms, but is slowly starting to feel better. And has learned an important lesson.

"We'll be definitely using more bug spray. The ironic thing is we have bug spray, my son had sprayed himself that day and you can chalk it up to being lazy. I just didn't think anything of it, but we will definitely be using more bug spray," said Thompson.

Health Department officials suspect there will be about a dozen cases of West Nile in Grayson County this year.

Blood centers have an array of tests on all blood donated, one of those tests include for the West Nile virus.

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