GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - As we warm up this spring, that means the season for West Nile Virus is just around the corner. The Grayson County Health Department is already working on preventing the spread of the virus.
Spring is in the air, and so are mosquitoes!
"West Nile Virus is known to be in this area and has been in the past and previous years," said Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez.
Ortez says Wednesday the department set out 10 mosquito traps throughout the county--they'll test the insects to identify where the West Nile hot spots are and to forecast how prevalent it will be this year
"We use that knowledge to inform our citizens," said Ortez.
Donna Glenn is TMC's director of infections--prevention and control. She says most people infected with the virus may not experience symptoms, and even when they do--they may not realize it's West Nile.
"The symptoms are so all over the board it's frequently missed--it's not the first thing anyone thinks of," said Glenn.
Ortez says only 20 percent of people infected will experience flu like symptoms, "And then there's that one percent or less that experience the severe and that's the west nile virus neuroinvasive disease and the west nile fever and that can lead to paralysis and life long neurological disorders."
Along with avoiding the outdoors during dusk and dawn, dressing in long sleeves, defending yourself with insect repellant and draining standing water -- Ortez says it's a good idea to make sure your window screens are intact.
"The southern house mosquito gets its name because it would prefer to be in the house with you where it has its victim," said Ortez.