West Nile Virus confirmed in Baytown

BAYTOWN – West Nile Virus, which first showed up in Northeast Houston earlier this summer, has been discovered in Baytown.
The Harris County Health Department has confirmed that West Nile Virus was found in a mosquito trapped in the Chaparral Subdivision in late June.

According to the health department, people who are over 50 or who are compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to the illness. However, they said that only about one percent of cases become severe. Initial symptoms of West Nile virus include swollen lymph glands, low-grade fever and headache. In more sever cases, the illness can cause muscle weakness, disorientation, brain inflammation and in the most extreme cases death. They say that symptoms usually are notices five to 15 days after exposure.

The health department says that the best way to protect oneself is to eliminate breeding grounds such as standing water in potted plant, and rain gutters. They also suggest wearing long sleeves and pants at dusk, when the culex mosquitos are most active and use of a insect repellant.

Mike Lester, Baytown Health Department director, said they have stepped up evening mosquitos spraying schedules in response to the countyÕs discovery.