West Nile Virus Confirmed in Lubbock Mosquitoes: What Now?
On Tuesday, October 5th, the City of Lubbock confirmed that multiple mosquitoes in Lubbock had tested positive for West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis Virus.
According to a City of Lubbock news release, vector control places mosquito traps throughout the county each year, and the Biological Threat Research Lab at Texas Tech tests the mosquitoes caught in these traps for disease.
With some of the mosquitoes found having tested positive for WNV and SLEV, as well as multiple cases being found in local residents, vector control has said they will increase spraying in the community targeting areas around positive traps.
Both WNV and SLEV are diseases found in birds, but it is transferred to humans when they are bitten by a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. The disease cannot be spread person-to-person.
While close to 80% of people infected show no symptoms, those that do show symptoms can experience headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. In more extreme cases, some may experience neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
It must be noted that there are currently no medications specifically to treat WNV and SLEV. Regardless, anyone experiencing symptoms and suspecting the aforementioned diseases are urged to contact their healthcare provider.
It's asked that everyone take steps to avoid mosquito bites by wearing insect repellant, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times and dumping standing water around your home.